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Renee Zelweger may have completed Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire" -- but the role almost went to another actress!

Can you imagine what Renee's career would be like if she didn't get the part? Let's look at it this way: Before the 1996 smash hit, she was starring in movies like "Empire Records" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation."

She wasn't really on a roll. In short, "Jerry Maguire" made her career.

But which TV star almost uttered the words "You had me at 'Hello'" instead?

None other than Connie Britton!

Britton, who starred on "Friday Night Lights" and "American Horror Story" before playing Rayna James on "Nashville," says she was thisclose to nabbing the part.

After starring in the 1995 film "The Brothers McMullen," director Cameron Crowe sent Britton the "Maguire" script -- thinking she'd made a great lead.

"I was blown away. I loved the script, the role — I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is incredible,'" Connie tells The New York Times.

Britton reveals Crowe told her she "nailed the audition" before doing a screen test with Cruise and a script reading with the rest of the cast.

There was only one more actress being considered for the role ... Renee, who got the part.

"It was heartbreak," Britton says of losing the role that would launch Zellweger into superstardom.

Her explanation for the decision: "Maybe I was too tall."

FYI: According to an unscientific Google search, Connie is allegedly 5'8", Tom's 5'7" and Renee is 5'4".

 How do you think Britton would have been in the flick? Better than Renee? Sound off below!

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