Best Eagles Cowboys Moment of My Life #7
JAMES WILLIS/TROY VINCENT 104 YARD RETURN ON MONDAY NIGHT TO SEAL THE VICTORY
As told by Eagles radio play by play legend Merrill Reese:
Nov. 3, 1996: “Another memory was they were playing on a Sunday, the coach was Ray Rhodes, they were playing in Dallas and the Eagles had the lead late in the game. The Cowboys were favored. Troy Aikman is marching them down the field. And he has them at the five-yard line, and they make a great tackle to get Emmitt Smith. But then on the next play with the game on the line Aikman throws into the corner of the end zone. And I’m sitting way, way up at Texas Stadium. All I see is a green helmet going up. And I’m shielded by Cowboys players. And I go ‘it’s intercepted, it’s intercepted!’ And I’m trying to pick up who intercepted it as he’s coming out of the end zone. And Derek Boyko (Eagles media relations) was my spotter at the time so I’m biding my time saying ‘it’s intercepted, it’s intercepted, coming out of the end zone … out to the 5, 10 …’ And I figure Derek with the binoculars is going to pick up who has the interception.
“Meanwhile I look over to get Derek’s call, and Joe McPeak, our producer who is very professional, was so overcome by the interception that he had tackled Derek. And I’m looking over and the two of them are rolling around on the floor and Derek is trying to get up. So I go back to the field and I see that No. 23 has the ball. So I go, ‘it’s Troy Vincent, Vincent to the 45, 50, all the way down! The Eagles win, the Eagles win! Great interception the Eagles win the game!’
Now we go into a break and during the break we look at the replay and sure enough it’s James Willis who intercepts it, and the moment I look down he lateralled it to Troy Vincent. And Joe McPeak is beside himself. He says, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll resign if you like. That’s terrible.’”