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Saved by the Pack. The redheaded genius makes next week a must-win

Tim's picture

I am rarely this utterly speechless after a game. I had all kinds of notes about Romo, the defense, injuries to Ware and Robinson, the secondary, the Arizona defense, Larry Fitzgerald...etc. But it all came down to this:

It's 3d and 11 from the Arizona 46. Romo, under pressure, fires a strike to Dez Bryant over the middle for 15 yards and a first down. There are 23 seconds on the clock, and Dallas has two time-outs left.

What do you do, coach?

YOU CALL A TIME-OUT. Hand it off, pick up a few yards. Or not. But run the clock down trying to make it easier for your kicker. Then take your last time-out and set up for the kick.

But not if you are Jason Garret. If you are Jason Garrett, you run up and spike the ball. Lose a yard and run the clock down to kicking time.

Okay, there are 7 seconds left. The kicker is lining up for the 49 yard game winner. What do you do, coach?

Freeze the kicker with a time-out!

Oh, I'm sorry, I meant what do you do if you are the coach of the kicking team.

Yes, Mr. Garrett? Oh, you understood the question? But that's still your answer?

I am speechless. I am stunned. I'll tell you who needs a time-out. Put Jason Garrett in the corner. With a win today, Dallas could have clinched the division next week. Now, next week is a must-win.

Well, for what its worth, here are a few more notes.

I thought Romo played one of his more conservative games. He threw it away when coverage was even a little tight. He played under extreme duress - hit, hurried or sacked on something like 2/3 of dropbacks. He still managed to complete 2/3 of his passes, and if the drops had been complete, did more than enough to win in regulation. Felix failed to see a sure TD pass, and Bryant dropped three, all of which would have been first downs.

Garrett also gave up on the run, which was very effective early, after a couple of stops by the Arizona defense. It isn't always yards per carry - sometimes it's just attempts. Whisenhunt understood that. Garrett did not. Murray had only 12 carries today, in a game the Cowboys trailed 3-0 early, and never again until they lost. In total, Dallas ran 19 run plays and 47 pass plays. Arizona ran 25 run plays and 29 pass plays.

Let that sink in.

The defense only gave up 19 points, right? Except they gave up 10 in the second half and the winning six in overtime. You want a pattern for the season? Rob Ryan makes no adjustments at halftime and his defenses can't hold up under pressure.

As I've said for at least four years, maybe these players are not as talented as we all want to believe they are.

But maybe the coaching isn't either.

Tim's picture
Last seen: 3 years 3 weeks ago


Plano, TX
United States
Joined: 05/06/2007

Holley has caught all seven passes thrown his way this year, six of them for first downs. That's making the most of limited opportunities!
Yes, had Scandrick not gotten that call, the Cowboys' final offenseive drive would have started on teh Arizona 25.

philyew3's picture
Last seen: 2 years 48 weeks ago
Joined: 11/05/2007

 Maybe everyone should have to audition on a reality TV show before getting drafted to prevent that sense of entitlement kicking in! 
Another thought I forgot to bad is the NFC this year (or maybe it's football in general)?
Every team in the NFC (L)East lost (when did that last happen) and only GB, NO and SF with a prayer of doing anything this year had wins...Thank goodness it does suck, because it's the only thing that kept Dallas out of a huge hole on Sunday.
Not that our expectations from this group should lead to hope of a lot from three divisional games and another road trip...

philyew3's picture
Last seen: 2 years 48 weeks ago
Joined: 11/05/2007

 I too was shocked by that whole sequence leading up to the missed field goal at the end. The complete abandonment of the running game led to that ridiculous series of decisions. It didn't even occur to Garrett to set up the kick with a couple of runs.
I did think before the first missed FG was even kicked that McBriar's hold was skewed. Did anyone else see that? 
Unlike you, I thought Ryan did adjust at the start of the second half, but instead of being as aggressive as he had been towards the end of the first half, when Kolb was being eaten alive, he dropped into a 4-man rush, allowing the QB too much time to make key connections. He was lucky to get away with just a field goal on the AZ first possession because of a dumb false start penalty, but even so that gave Kolb a lot of confidence. 
What I didn't notice was when Ware went out of the game. If anyone doubted that he is this teams's MVP by a distance, look at how relatively ineffective the defense was after he left the game. The guy makes so much happen, even when his name isn't being called.
Was it Bryant's long return that got called back because of a block in the back begin called on Scandrick? Anyway, what a BS call. The guy stopped running with Scandrick in tight pursuit, no way he could have avoided contact. That was a block in the gut, not a block in the back.
Nevertheless, the game shouldn't have come down to these few calls. Dallas should have overwhelmed this team. Instead the offense was again anaemic and underperformed its potential. A ridiculous return to the pass dominated game when it was so tight. Garrett deserves a kick in the ass for that, even if he was just relaying Joe DeCammillis' request when he called that stupid timeout...
On the bright side, I love how Jesse Holley just keeps showing up on the limited number of plays that he gets to run