Eagles' top plays: Wilbert’s TD

July, 8, 2014
Jul 8
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Wilbert Montgomery AP Photo
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This is the second of three plays nominated as the most memorable play in Philadelphia Eagles history. We’ve already featured "The First Miracle" at Giants Stadium in 1978, and tomorrow we'll go over "Miracle II," DeSean Jackson's 65-yard return against the Giants. Please vote for your choice as the Eagles' most memorable play.

Score: Eagles 20, Cowboys 7
Date: Jan. 11, 1981 Site: Veterans Stadium

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Which is the most memorable play in Eagles' history?

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The hatred Eagles fans feel for the Dallas Cowboys blossomed in the 1970s, when the Eagles were perennial losers and the Cowboys ascended to “America’s Team” status. That loathing raised the 1980 NFC Championship Game to mythic proportions for the fans packed into Veterans Stadium on a frigid January Sunday.

Going to a Super Bowl would be a first for the Eagles. Getting there at the expense of the Cowboys would mean everything to Eagles fans, while losing would be that much harder to swallow.

Wilbert Montgomery was injured and was not on the field for the first play of the game. But he ran out for the second snap at the Dallas 42-yard line.

Quarterback Ron Jaworski took the snap and handed the ball to Montgomery. He cut to his right, where a huge hole had been opened. Montgomery broke through and was gone. Just like that, the fans in the stadium and, just maybe, the Eagles themselves believed victory was possible.

The Cowboys came back and tied the game at 7. But the Eagles' defense held firm, creating turnovers and preventing America’s Team from ever getting control of the game. On a day the wind and cold made throwing the ball difficult, Montgomery racked up 194 yards on 26 carries.

The Eagles would get smashed by the Oakland Raiders 27-10 in the Super Bowl. That made Montgomery’s performance against the Cowboys, especially that touchdown run, the high-water mark of the Dick Vermeil era in Philadelphia.

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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