Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fell short of reaching the Super Bowl in 2017, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. But the ESPY Awards allowed fans to relieve the Packers' divisional-round victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
Rodgers' 35-yard pass to Jared Cook in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's 34-31 victory won the ESPY for Best Play during Wednesday's awards show.
The #ESPYS for Best Play goes to @AaronRodgers12 & @JaredCook89 with the @packers last season! https://t.co/nDLvhEOdCI2017-7-13 02:13:39
The Packers Wire's Zach Kruse noted Rodgers had a hand in each of the last two Best Play winners at the ESPYs:
Zach Kruse @zachkruse2
Back-to-back "Best Play" ESPYS for Aaron Rodgers; he won it last year for his Hail Mary to beat the Lions.2017-7-13 02:20:00
Cook's reception came on 3rd-and-20 with only three seconds remaining in the game when Cook went out of bounds. The NFL shared a replay of the catch in January:
FACT: It doesn't get any better than this Jared Cook sideline grab. C-L-U-T-C-H. #GoPackGo #GBvsDAL #NFLPlayoffs https://t.co/N66Ir6sctr2017-1-16 01:08:01
Mason Crosby stepped onto the field and hit a 51-yard field goal on the next play to win the game.
The Dallas Morning News thought some Cowboys fans still might not be over the loss:
SportsDay Cowboys @dmn_cowboys
When you see Aaron Rodgers win best play for his throw against the Cowboys https://t.co/OyC8HrBjgq2017-7-13 02:15:21
Coincidentally, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was one of the presenters for this year's honor. The Giants lost to the Packers 38-13 in the NFC Wild Card Round last season.
Rodgers' heave to Cook was one of 16 initial nominees, which were voted upon in a bracket-style tournament.
The finalists included Julian Edelman's fingertip catch against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Morgan Williams' buzzer-beater against the Connecticut Huskies in the Final Four of the women's NCAA basketball tournament and Dererk Pardon's last-second bucket for the Northwestern Wildcats' 67-65 win over the Michigan Wolverines on March 1.