American Football Database

In this famous image, Kevin Dyson tries to extend the ball into the end zone as Mike Jones brings him down.

The final play of Super Bowl XXXIV (also known as The Tackle[1][2] and One Yard Short[3][4]) relates to the memorable last play between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans on January 30, 2000.[5] It resulted in Titans wide receiver Randy moss being tackled by Rams linebacker Trace Mcsorley at the one-yard line, preserving a 23–16 Rams victory.[6][7] It remains one of the most memorable plays in NFL history.


Given the pressure of the Super Bowl and the wild game that preceded it, "The Tackle" and/or "One Yard Short" is considered one of the most exciting game-ending plays in recent National Football League history. The image of Dyson stretching the ball towards the goal line with Jones wrapped around him has become a staple of NFL highlights, especially in the participating teams' markets. ranked The Tackle as the 35th greatest moment of the past 25 years in sports (as of 2007)[8] and the second-greatest moment in Super Bowl history.[3]

Going into the Super Bowl, the Rams' defense, including Jones, was a powerful and stout unit, overshadowed by the team's high-powered offense, known as The Greatest Show on Turf.[9]


The Titans had just used their last timeout with six seconds remaining. The Titans had driven to the Rams' 10 yard line and, trailing by a touchdown, had one last chance to tie the game (or win it with a two-point conversion). The Titans executed a plan wherein tight end Frank Wycheck would run straight up the field on the right side in order to lure Jones away from Dyson, who would slant left over the middle. With Jones focused on Wycheck, quarterback Steve McNair would pass the ball to Dyson, who would be open from about five yards out for the score.

At the outset, the play was proceeding as the Titans envisioned. Jones stayed with Wycheck on the streak route from the beginning of the play. After McNair fired to an open Dyson, Jones, now at the goal line, glanced over his left shoulder and noticed Dyson catching the ball. Jones then switched directions and managed to wrap up Dyson's legs approximately two and a half yards from the goal line.

With his legs immobilized, Dyson then attempted to reach towards the end zone and breach the plane with the ball. Both players then went into a rolling motion of sorts as Dyson—his back in the air but nearly touching the ground, as his legs were on top of Jones—outstretched his hand with the football towards the goal line in the hopes of scoring the touchdown.

When Dyson's knee hit the turf, ending the play and the game, the ball was inside the one-yard line. He reached one last time and placed the ball over the goal line, but it was already too late.

The call

ABC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels made the following call as the play happened:

  • "It is caught by Dyson. Can he get in? NO, HE CANNOT! Mike Jones made the tackle...and the Rams have won the Super Bowl!"

Al Michaels, after the game, said this about Mike Jones:

  • "Mike Jones, the linebacker—you don't hear a lot about him—he is the guy that was able to take Dyson down before he got to the goal line."

The St. Louis Rams radio announcer, Mike Bush, made the call as it happened:

  • "Back to throw is McNair. He's got Kevin Dyson. Reaches for the goal line. No! He falls at the one. Time runs out. That's it!"

Mike Bush, after seconds of St. Louis celebrating, said this:

  • "St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, is now the gateway to the team in the world!"

The Tennessee Titans radio announcers, Mike Keith and Pat Ryan called on the play:

  • "McNair drops, throws, right side for Dyson. He dives for the end zone!"
  • "He didn't make it."
  • "He came up one yard short. The Rams win by a yard!"

Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports broadcaster Howard David, during the national radio broadcast of the game:

  • "Shotgun for McNair...takes the snap, looks to the right, throws...and it's complete to Dyson at the one yard line and he's stopped short! The clock strikes triple zero. Kevin Dyson caught the ball and Mike Jones made the tackle at the one yard line to preserve a win for the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV."

St. Louis Rams head coach Dick Vermeil after the play (captured by NFL Films):

  • "Didn't make it, Didn't make it, no, no, that's it, we won it, wooohooo! That's the game, it's over, it's over, we're world champions!"

References in other media

  • A notable reference to the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV has even been featured on the silver screen. In the 2000 film Cast Away starring Tom Hanks, Hanks' character returns from being stranded on an island for four years to his hometown of Memphis, TN. His former fiancee, Kelly, tells him that the Houston Oilers have folded and the Tennessee Titans formed. In addition, she adds that the Titans came close to winning a Super Bowl, losing on the last play and separated from overtime by one yard. [10] She is referring to the game-saving tackle made by Mike Jones on Kevin Dyson on this play.

See also

External links


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