Following the Christmas Eve victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Sanders was rightfully heralded as the hero but lost in it all was the big play by DeShon Elliott that may have changed everything about the game.
The Cowboys have not lost this year when they score on their opening drive. Whether you believe in NFL Gods and spirits or superstitions, the Cowboys drove the field on their opening drive and looked ready to take an early lead. That score would have tested that record.
Instead, DeShon Elliott blew up what would have been a touchdown. Tony Pollard, a hard-to-tackle runner, had his feet in the end zone but Elliott kept the ball from crossing the goal line. He kept the Cowboys from scoring but Dallas picked up the first down on that play.
On the very next play, Dallas fumbled. Brandon Jones recovered the errant hand-off and the Dolphins drove the field where Jason Sanders kicked his career-long 57-yarder to give Miami a lead. A lead that would eventually go back to Dallas late but ultimately serve as a victory.
Elliot's play was incredible. It changed the game early. Miami had surrendered a long drive to the Cowboys. CeDee Lamb owned the Dolphins' defense on that opening 17-play drive. On the next drive, the Cowboys drove the field and took a 7-3 lead but that easily could have been 14 points.
Elliott finished the game taking 97% of the defensive snaps but he was only credited with two tackles the entire game. One of those set a tone for Miami and kept the Cowboys from taking an opening drive lead. The rest, well, Miami is heading to the playoffs!