The feeble Arizona offense would have been facing a fourth-and-goal from about the 13-yard line; instead, they got a first-and-goal from the 2.
The winning touchdown culminated a 70-yard drive in 1:37 where the big play occurred on a massive breakdown by the Dolphins secondary.
The Dolphins had rallied from a 17-12 deficit in the fourth quarter, cutting the margin to 17-15 on Bill Gramatica's 28-yard field goal and then taking a 23-17 lead when Sammy Morris plunged over the top from 1 yard out and A.J. Feeley, subbing for an injured Jay Fiedler, hit Randy McMichael for the two-point conversion.
The Dolphins totally dominated the game statistically, but wound up trailing in the fourth quarter because of a couple of big mistakes and some questionable calls by an officiating crew that looked like it had no clue what it was doing.
The first big mistake came when Feeley had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and it went to cornerback Duane Starks, who returned it 41 yards for a touchdown that cut Miami's lead to 12-10.
Then a highly dubious roughing-the-passer penalty nullified a Sammy Knight interception on Arizona's next drive, and Jason Taylor then responded in anger by kicking the ball as an official was looking to retrieve it and incurred an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
So Arizona gained 30 yards on the play and that set up Emmitt Smith's 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins scored the only touchdown of the first half when Fiedler hit fullback Rob Konrad in the flat on a fourth-and-inches and Konrad raced into the end zone from 20 yards out.
It was a point that would come back to haunt the Dolphins.