Roger Staubach's last pass was completed to guard Herb Scott. Danny White's fateful play forced an infamous "No, Danny! No!" from coach Tom Landry. Troy Aikman's final play ended in a huge hit by LaVar Arrington.
All of it happened at Texas Stadium, which last night might have been the site of Drew Bledsoe's final meaningful pass as an NFL quarterback. In the Cowboys' hideous 36-22 loss to the New York Giants, Bledsoe took a play that was supposed to go right, improvised left, was intercepted at the goal line by Sam Madison and was benched. Forever?
Bledsoe was yanked at halftime of the rout, and he likely won't play again this season unless Tony Romo gets hurt. History says once you bench a veteran quarterback, there's no going back. Bledsoe and his Hall of Fame numbers hauled ass up the tunnel immediately after the game. By the time Dallas Mavericks star Josh Howard and the media were allowed in the locker room, there were only three naked hangers and an empty water bottle in Bledsoe's vacated locker.
"Too many mistakes," coach Bill Parcells said of yanking his 14-year veteran. "Too much improvisation. Too much not protecting the ball in key situations."
It was actually assistant coach Chris Palmer who christened Dallas' new quarterback era, calmly telling Romo at halftime, "You're in."
Parcells wouldn't confirm it, but no way Bledsoe starts Sunday in Carolina. Romo gives the Cowboys more mobility. He allows them to operate out of the shotgun. And, like Bledsoe, he's already proved he can make a bad read and a worse throw at the goal line, leading to a game-clinching marathon interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Be careful what you ask for, Cowboys fans. Romo, as a wise man predicted right here, spoiled two touchdowns with three interceptions, including a pick on his first pass in the second half. Get used to it. And R.I.P, Drew Bledsoe. --Richie Whitt