Jason Garrett blew it. And I don't mean the timeout that he called with 7 seconds left. I mean the timeout he didn't call after Dez Bryant caught the pass for a first down at the 32 yard line with 25 seconds on the clock. He should have called timeout and tried to get another 10-20 yards to make the field goal attempt for his kicker easier.
Garrett claims that he was afraid of a negative play. Playing football afraid to make a mistake usually results in a loss. And Garrett's lack of trust in his offense cost the Cowboys their 5th straight victory.
I'm not saying Jason Garrett is a terrible coach and he needs to be fired. I know some people feel that way. And is was a mistake that shouldn't happen. But we have to hope that Jason Garrett learns from his mistake and plays that situation more aggressively in the future. He will be the coach in Dallas for a long time regardless of the one bad game he called against the Cardinals.
I saw a stat today that said that a field goal from that spot is basically a 50-50 proposition. If the Cowboys could have moved up 15 yards the percentage goes up over 80% that Bailey will make the kick. It was a horrible decision by Garrett no matter how he tries to explain it away.
Lost in the end of game disaster was the stellar 4th quarter play of Tony Romo. He did everything he needed to do to get his team the victory. Let's not forget that he was clutch yet again. And he threw for 299 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions on a day that the offensive line was terrible both pass blocking and run blocking. The line gave up 5 sacks but it could have easily been 8 or 9 had it not been for some Romo magic. And Romo got the Cowboys down the field in the 2 minute offense and gave his team a shot at a win.
Dan Bailey finally had a bad game. But it is hard to fault the kicker for missing a 53 yard field goal and a 49 yard field goal. I didn't understand why the Cowboys chose to kick a 53 yard field goal early in the game on 4th and 1 instead of being aggressive and going for the first down. That was another bad call by Garrett that got lost in the shuffle.
The defense went in the tank in the 2nd half for the second game in a row. I don't understand why Rob Ryan has so much success attacking early in games and then backs off. The three man rushes that he calls in two minute situations drive me crazy. Give any quarterback all day to throw and he'll eventually find an open receiver. I'd like to see aggressive defensive calls on a consistent basis.
I don't want to sound like I am giving up on the Cowboys. But they haven't done anything over the last five games to convince me of what I concluded after the game against the Eagles. Right now the Cowboys are a very average team. The offense is average. The defense is average. And special teams is average at best.
Next week is a make or break moment in the season. If the Cowboys lose at home to the Giants I feel like the season will unravel. But if the Cowboys can find a way to win they will likely end up with the division title. That doesn't mean we should expect much in the postseason. But at least they would be in the tournament which is a huge improvement over last season. I hope the Cowboys find a way to play at a much higher level next week. Another performance like this one next week will result in an embarrassing blow out loss.