For those Dallas Cowboys fans who are ready for head coach Jason Garrett to be fired, Sunday night might have been a turning point.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been patient with Garrett and defends him often. He did not defend Garrett’s strange decision to punt in overtime on Sunday night against the Houston Texans.
The Cowboys had fourth-and-1 in overtime at the Houston 42-yard line. They also have Ezekiel Elliott, one of the best running backs in football. Garrett decided to punt, and the Cowboys never saw the ball again. Houston drove for a game-winning field goal.
Jones doesn’t seem like the type that would shy away from a good gamble, and he wasn’t in favor of the punt that Garrett will have a hard time living down.
Jerry Jones thought Jason Garrett should have gone for it
No other owner in the NFL regularly talks to the media after games, but Jones is unique. Reporters were obviously going to find him after the loss, and Jones didn’t agree with Garrett’s decision.
“We were being outplayed. It’s time for risks at that particular time,” Jones said, according to the team’s site.
Jones said he wasn’t second-guessing Garrett, though “we’re all extremely disappointed,” according to the Star-Telegram.
The Cowboys are 2-3, but the two wins were over a punchless Giants team at home and on a last-second field goal at home against the Lions. Dallas, particularly on offense, hasn’t looked good yet this season.
Jones has been patient with Garrett, and that has paid off at times, particularly with a 13-3 season two years ago. But it won’t last forever.
Garrett’s decision was unusual
Garrett’s decision to punt was extremely conservative, especially in a league that is recently awakening to the idea that fourth-and-1 in opposing territory isn’t a punting situation.
The Athletic pointed out how crazy the decision was. The Cowboys are 18-of-19 converting fourth-and-1 since drafting Elliott in 2016, according to the Athletic. Furthermore, The Athletic said there have been 52 instances of a team facing fourth-and-1 from between midfield and the opponent’s 40-yard line since the beginning of last season and there have only been 12 punts in that situation. Garrett is the only one to punt in that situation twice.
“Yeah, it was a long 1 [yard],” Garrett said in explaining his decision after the game, via NFL.com.
Not too long ago, it was considered crazy to go for it on fourth down in just about any situation. Going for it in smart situations is becoming the norm, thankfully. Garrett just got way too tight when the right play was to go for it.
After it cost the Cowboys a game against the other team in Texas, Jones is unlikely to forget that decision anytime soon.
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