November 5, 2017.
Cowboys up 14-3, two seconds left in the second quarter, Chiefs on their own 44-yard line, meaning they have 56 yards to go.
This will no doubt be the final play of the half.
The Cowboys put seven of their 11 players, including linebacker Anthony Hitchens, on the goal line.
Alex Smith snaps the ball out of the shotgun and he throws it about 25 yards up the middle of the field to Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs blockers have time to set up in front of him and Hill darts up the left side of the field.
Hitchens, on the right side defending, rushes over.
He’s the last Cowboy back, and he’s too late. Touchdown Hill, touchdown Chiefs.
“I was the last guy he made miss,” Hitchens said at his introductory press conference at the Chiefs practice facility Thursday. “We were in man-to-man, and he outran his guy and made everybody else miss.”
We have signed linebacker Anthony Hitchens.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) March 15, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/lBKoJAmQfX pic.twitter.com/0A5BODu1qU
The “Hill Mary” play was part of the many reasons Hitchens, 25, decided to officially sign a five-year $45 million deal with the Chiefs on Thursday. Hitchens said he knew he wanted to be a Chief “as soon as the season was over.”
That feeling was mutual. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach revealed Wednesday that like in the case of Watkins, Kansas City had tried to trade for Hitchens, who he called a “straight stud,” last summer.
In fact, the first call that Veach made as an NFL GM was to Dallas.
“They said they weren’t going to move him,” he explained.
Acquiring Hitchens would have to wait until he became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
“Me and my wife, we love the Midwest,” Hitchens said. “It’s good players, and they win every year, and we’re just excited.”
The plan for Hitchens, as explained by Veach Thursday, is to play in the 3-4 base and nickel next to Reggie Ragland. In dime situations, Hitchens will stay on the field.
“I think with Hitchens, he’s a guy that we thought he could do everything,” Veach added. “If people say, ‘No he’s a plugger like Reggie (Ragland),’ just watch him on tape. The guy can cover ground and he can flip hips and run.”
Hitchens made it sound that his favorite part about now being on the Chiefs is that he now not have to play the Chiefs (seriously). When the Cowboys played the Chiefs last year, Hitchens said he and his teammates spent more time than usual preparing for the game.
“First of all, you can’t play man because they’re too good,” Hitchens recalled. “And then at the same time, you have to stop the run. Mobile quarterbacks. It was a handful. I’m just happy to (now) be a part of it.”
This year, when Hill scores a touchdown, Hitchens won’t be diving for his legs. He’ll be grabbing his helmet.