NFL coaches and players cherished visits with John Madden – The Athletic


Steve Young pulled out of the Dallas Cowboys pass rush, slid to his left and pitched all the way to Jerry Rice for a 5-yard touchdown. There were less than five minutes left at the 1992 NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers had come close to four points just minutes after the Cowboys failed on the 4th and 1st points of the San Francisco 7-yard line.

“Now things are getting tighter on that Cowboys sideline,” John Madden said on CBS.

Madden, who died on Tuesday at the age of 85, and her longtime broadcast partner Pat Summerall were made for times like these.

“First against Dallas in their 20s,” Summerall said after the 49ers kick off. “The Cowboys lead the 49ers, 24-20.”

“Now we have a championship game,” Madden replied.

The Cowboys offense has regrouped around quarterback Troy Aikman, with the noise of the crowd increasing.

“This is what it is about,” Madden continued. “There are four minutes left. The losing team is eliminated. The winning team goes to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys were about to put them away. They got a fourth try, they didn’t and now they’ve let the 49ers get back into the game. And now they have a heckuva fight on their hands. “

The Cowboys broke the caucus. Full-back Darryl “Moose” Johnston, wrapped in shoulder pads so large he looked like an action figure, lowered into a three-point position with Emmitt Smith behind him in the backfield, hands on knees.


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