Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss (84) runs for a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terry Billups gives chase Thursday, Nov. 26, 1998, in Irving, Texas. Minnesota won 46-36. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)
When Mike Zimmer was the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive backs coach and his team was preparing to play Randy Moss, Zimmer developed a trick to give his players an idea of what they were dealing with.
“I remember on the scout team, we lined a receiver up two yards offside every time we played against him, because he was going to be on us so fast,” Zimmer said.
Moss, who will be inducted into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor on Monday night, still holds an outsized place in Vikings lore, with both the coaches who had to prepare to stop him and the players who grew up idolizing him. Detroit Lakes native Adam Thielen wrote Moss’ name, along with No. 84, on his cleats for Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints to honor the iconic receiver, who ranks second in Vikings history in receiving yards and touchdowns behind Cris Carter.
And Zimmer, who was on the opposing sideline for Moss’ famous Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys in 1998, can still recall the feelings of futility so many defensive coaches had when trying to stop Moss back then.
“Basically, most every coverage was dedicated to him,” Zimmer said. “And he still had great games.”
Moss will be honored at halftime on Monday, in a ceremony that includes Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, as well as other members of the team’s Ring of Honor. Moss, who will be working the game as part of ESPN’s pregame crew, will also blow the Gjallarhorn before the game. He will become the 22nd player to join the Vikings’ Ring of Honor.