Johnson, then the Cowboys’ coach, starts with entering Dallas Stadium that morning. Temperatures were dropping, frozen rain falling. Snow was coming, too. Joe Avezzano, the Cowboys’ special-teams coach, had an idea.
“Hey, with it snowing, and the footing being so bad, let’s put Leon on the field-goal unit,” Avezzano said. “As big and tall as he is, he might get some push in the middle and block one.”
“OK, let’s do it,” Johnson said.
And there it was, Johnson says now. The mistake before The Mistake. The truth often isn’t everything our eyes tell us. Five decades after Bobby Thomson hit baseball’s most-famous home run came a story of binoculars, electronic switches and stolen signs that gave Thomson the coming pitch.
Jimmy, walking all these years later, adds a final detail to that meeting.
“Leon never worked on special teams before,” he says. “He’d never been on the punt-block team. He never had the benefit of going through all the rules that our special-teams players did.
“I blame ourselves more than I do Leon for what happened. He should never have been put in that position.”
Another interesting fact stated in that article . . . it was the last game Jimmy Johnson lost as head coach of the Cowboys.
Edit: And more fun from Snickers and the NFL: http://www.nfl.com/snickers