Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett knew that clock management was on everyone’s mind following the 31-29 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday, and why wouldn’t it be? Dallas had recovered an onside kick and appeared primed to get into field goal range and steal a tough road win from Baltimore. But after completing a one-yard pass to Dez Bryant with a little over 20 seconds left--rather than taking a timeout or clocking the ball--the team allowed the clock to run down to six seconds.
This forced kicker Dan Bailey to attempt a 51-yard field goal--which would’ve tied his career long--at an awkward angle. As you may recall, he missed it.
In his postgame press conference, Garrett was quick to address the elephant in the room--namely, the study in sloppiness that was the team’s handling of the end of that game. Here, Garrett shouldered the blame.
“Let’s start with how we handled that situation,” Garrett said. “You know, when we look at that situation, the evaluation is that we need to be better in that situation and that starts with me. And just executing and getting more out of that situation if you look at where we are on the field, how many timeouts we have left and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Part of the issue, Garrett said, was that the play call on the completion to Bryant had a number of receivers going far downfield, making it difficult to get on the ball as quickly as you’d like with precious seconds coming off the clock.
“When you have those combinations up and you have some people running away from the line of scrimmage, it’s going to take them longer to get back,” he said. “When I look at that as a coach I say, ‘okay, I like the answers, but the issue is we have two receivers running vertically down the field and it’s going to take too much time for them to get back.’ That’s my responsibility, I made that play call and I’ve got to do a better job of that.”
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