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Flashback: Kilmer's Greatest Throw

Posted Jan 13, 2012

On Dec. 31, 1972, in the NFC title game at RFK Stadium, Billy Kilmer hoisted a 45-yard touchdown pass to Charley Taylor that took down the Dallas Cowboys.


Sometimes, Billy Kilmer's throws were of the wobbly variety, and that's putting it mildly.

But not on Dec. 31, 1972 in the NFC title game at RFK Stadium.

That day, Kilmer hoisted a 45-yard touchdown pass to Charley Taylor that took down the Dallas Cowboys. The play has to rank as one of the best throws, if not the best, of Kilmer's 16-year NFL career.

And it's certainly one of the most memorable plays in Redskins history.

Taylor hauled in touchdown catches of 15 and 45 yards from Kilmer as the Redskins beat Dallas 26-3 in the NFC title game.

It was perhaps the key game in the careers of Kilmer and Taylor, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

Taylor has referred to the 45-yard touchdown pass that day from Kilmer as the quarterback's best pass ever.

The Redskins were holding onto a shaky 10-3 lead early in the fourth quarter. Dallas cornerback Mark Washington, subbing for an injured Charley Waters, was the victim on the play as Taylor slipped behind him far down the right sideline.

Kilmer was on the money with an artful throw that hit Taylor in stride and put the Redskins up 17-3. Even Roger Staubach couldn't help Dallas produce a late rally on that occasion.

Kilmer played for UCLA in college and then professionally for San Francisco, New Orleans and the Redskins.

After being traded to the Redskins in 1971, Kilmer seemed headed for a reserve role behind future Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen.

During that time, as has been well documented over the years, Redskins fans took sides as to which player they thought should call the signals for the Redskins, Billy or Sonny.

That's one of the lasting memories of Kilmer's time with the team as well.

Kilmer finished his NFL career with 1,585 of 2,984 completions for 20,495 yards and 154 touchdowns, with 146 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,509 yards and 21 touchdowns.