Felix Jones forgot what down it was on Cowboys’ last play

AP

After a Calvin Johnson touchdown gave the Lions a 34-30 lead over the Cowboys on Sunday, Dallas still had time for one final drive, and on that drive the Cowboys quickly picked up a couple of first downs and got into Lions territory.

But that drive came up short, ending with a boneheaded mistake by Cowboys running back Felix Jones.

Although Tony Romo’s three-interception second half has been given the lion’s share of the blame for the Cowboys’ loss, Jones deserves some of the blame, too: On fourth-and-20 on the Cowboys’ final offensive play, Romo hit Jones with a short pass, and Jones did a nice job of breaking one tackle. And then he simply stepped out of bounds after gaining just seven yards. The Lions got the ball, kneeled down once, and that was the game.

So what was Jones thinking?

I think he probably lost track of the down at the end,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

Obviously, if you’re an NFL player, you can’t afford to lose track of the down at the end of a game, and Jones has taken some criticism for his mistake: Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote that Jones’s football IQ and jersey number are roughly equal. But Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says that clock management mistakes are just learning opportunities.

“Those are all real good learning experiences for everybody,” Garrett said. “It’s our job as coaches to show those guys on tape: This is what happened; this is the reaction that you had; this is why it was a good reaction or a bad reaction; and this is how we can learn from it. These situations will not go away. They don’t go away for any team in the league. We’ll come back again, and we need to be good in them.”

The Cowboys have been in nothing but close games this season. If that’s going to continue, Garrett had better be sure his players are actually learning something from these learning opportunities.

94 responses to “Felix Jones forgot what down it was on Cowboys’ last play

  1. My Last Victim Escaped says:
    Oct 4, 2011 2:14 PM
    4th and 20, and the play was a short pass to Felix? Really!?!

    ————————————————

    Agreed. If a team has a mile to go to convert a 4th down, why throw a short pass off to a running back? The defense may be playing the wide outs tightly, but everybody should have been at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage in the hopes of converting the first. Romo didn’t help matters by throwing such a short pass, but Garrett is also to blame for calling the wrong play.

  2. I was in shock when he ran out. I didn’t believe the Cowboys just lost considering the 1st half of the game. It was a glorious moment as a Lions fan.

  3. The Vikings lose a 20 pt lead to the Lions after they mustered 0 first half pts. The Cowboys throw 2 pick 6s back to back and then a 3rd INT, and then Felix Jones “forgets” that its 4th down in their last chance to win. Let’s be honest here….even NFL teams feel sorry for Lions fans. If the Lions faced the Giants Deion Grant would fake his own death on the field during the last Megatron TD catch to give the Lions the victory. Lions fans, you’re finally going to have a winning season, no matter what the other teams have to do to give it to you!

  4. Didnt matter it was 4th and 20 and he caught it in the flat with 15 yards to get the 1st down. Game over.

  5. its not his fault. they should have markers on the sideline showing which down it is. bright lights on the scoreboard showing what down it is would also be helpful.

  6. I have a two word question to go with the title of this thread. “Oh really?”

    It seems a lot of people lost track. I don’t blame Jones totally. I don’t believe he would have made the first down in enough time from where he caught the ball. Let’s blame the OC and Romo for that. How do you throw a 8 yard pass when you need 20 on 4th down with just seconds to go in the game? That made absolutely no sense to me. There are more people to blame than just Jones.

  7. Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote that Jones’s football IQ and jersey number are roughly equal.

    So I guess Joe Buck and Troy Aikman must be retarsed too. Oh and Romo for throwing a 2 yard pass on 4th and 20. And while we are talking about it, I guess Rob Ryan is a walking vegetable for leaving Newman by him self against Megatron.

    Damn Dallas, stop flipping out. It’s like every time the Cowboys lose you have to cut a finger off or something.

  8. I put 100% of the blame on Jason Garrett. You’re up 27-3, you know what Romo is capable of(good & bad). Dez Bryant conditioning & the last play to Felix Jones doesn’t account for 3 back to back to back turnovers.

  9. Thanks again, Cowboys! We, as the Detroit Lions fan base that’s been enduring these kinds of things for over a decade now, are very glad to see this happen to someone else! We don’t care who, or where! We’re just glad that finely it’s happening to anyone but us! So again thanks!!!

  10. Garrett is the one who forgot what down it was with that play call. Oh, wait, he’s the guy who called non-stop passes with a 24 point lead, and then threw Romo under the bus afterward. Figures…

  11. Why is it everytime the Cowboys do something stupid its news…like Bryant not paying his bills or Romo and his WRs forgetting who plays for whom?

    oh wait

  12. I was 1600 miles away and i knew what down it was, this was just shameful after hearing Garrett say there was a new culture in town last year but we still have the same boneheaded plays that we had under Wade.

  13. My Last Victim Escaped says:
    Oct 4, 2011 2:14 PM
    4th and 20, and the play was a short pass to Felix? Really!?!

    ————–

    Um ya.

    The Lions were up by 4, which means the Cowboys NEEDED a Touchdown. Which means the Lions were playing deep prevent. It’s actually your best bet to put the ball in the hands of a checkdown with speed like Felix Jones to get you the first underneath the defense.

    I’ll take those odds over chucking the ball to a banged up receiving group with 8 defensive backs swarming around them every day.

  14. It was not a very good play call. If Jones gets the first down but doesn’t get out of bounds the clock hits :00 and the game is over.

  15. Let’s be honest, he was still 12 yards short of the 1st when he ran out of bounds and there were 6 Lions waiting for him. There is NO CHANCE he would have gotten the 1st anyway. He’s dumb, yes, but he didn’t blow the game. The Lions were going to win anyway.

  16. Not sure why a bigger deal isn’t being made of this, but I am pretty sure that Jason Garrett also didn’t know the down. You can clearly see him going to his playcall sheet to call his next play after Felix Jones stepped out of bounds.

    He looks up (as if to see how much time is left) then put his playcall sheet to his mouth.

    Just watch the replay. He’s lucky that I am seemingly the only one that noticed this.

  17. “Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote that Jones’s football IQ and jersey number are roughly equal. ”

    You can’t say that, it be racist.

  18. Both Garrett and Jones are to blame. Garrett cannot excuse this as “learning experience”. Regular season gaffes are not just “learning experience”, they can cost people their jobs. If the Cowboys end up one game short of playoffs, Garrett can hang his hat on that “learning experience.”

  19. Must have gone to school with mcnabb and Chris webber.
    None of those dumb asses knew what was happening when it was the heat of battle

  20. I know it’s hard for NFL fans to believe the Lions may be ready to join the party (and it’s still early), but they still had to win that game—despite what Romo did. And instead of being happy that the Lions beat the Cowboys, you’re hating on the team from Detroit. Sometimes sad sack teams emerge and you’re just not ready to buy it. Maybe it’s finally the Lions time. If so, I’m happy for them. Don’t those fans deserve it?
    ___________________________________
    gyantphan4life says:
    Oct 4, 2011 2:20 PM
    The Vikings lose a 20 pt lead to the Lions after they mustered 0 first half pts. The Cowboys throw 2 pick 6s back to back and then a 3rd INT, and then Felix Jones “forgets” that its 4th down in their last chance to win. Let’s be honest here….even NFL teams feel sorry for Lions fans. If the Lions faced the Giants Deion Grant would fake his own death on the field during the last Megatron TD catch to give the Lions the victory. Lions fans, you’re finally going to have a winning season, no matter what the other teams have to do to give it to you!

  21. Simple explanation for that last play call…if your goal was to not have Romo-router throw yet another pic, then a 7 yard play on 4th and 20 makes perfect sense.

  22. Throwing the ball to your running back on the last play is the stupidest move you can make and thats Romo’s fault. He has done this before.

  23. i put the blame on this as the lions just having better and hungrier players than the cowboys do! the lions are a great young team,and it would be a stupid mistake to over look them,especially megatron and suh!anytime they are playing,chances are it’s gonna be hard to beat them.would not be surprised next week to see them blowout the bears badly on MNF just to show how good they are! cowboys did’nt lose that game,the lions took it!

  24. I don’t think they would have had time for anything else if he would have run for the first down anyway.

  25. Jones “mistake” really didn’t matter in the outcome. The Lions defensive strategy was to let Jones run until the clock ran out, then tackle him.

    At the time Jones ran out of bounds, there was only 4 seconds left on the clock anyway. Even if Jones had stayed in bounds long enough to get the first down, there wouldn’t have been enough time left to line up for another play. In the absence of the Cowboys being prepared for the end of the game pitch the ball drill, there was no way he was going to score.

  26. Greater blame should be placed on Tyron Smith for the previous play, i.e. getting steamrolled by DE Willie Young, which led to a 10 yard sack of Romo and loss of precious time. Furthermore, with the pocket closing in, Romo should’ve gotten rid of the ball before Young could grab him.

  27. Mental mistake. he should be embarrassed. And the media should be lambasting him for it. Getting paid well over a million bucks a year? Definitely a lot more than me, and I knew what down it was. When Aikman and buck sounded confused, I second guessed myself too, because what Jones did made no sense…..Dumbass

  28. Felix just thought the crew that called the 1990 Missouri game was calling this one as well.

  29. I hate to say this but Dallas should be begging Jessica Simpson to take Tony back. Wasn’t he better with her around?

    Yoko Romo for the win!

  30. McNabb didn’t know there were ties in the NFL. Cadillac Williams didn’t know that an incomplete backwards pass is a live ball. Now Felix Jones can’t keep track of the down. What’s with these guys?

  31. It was likely Garrett himself who lost track of the downs, which was probably why he called that play. He probably told his guys to go get a few yards, and they’d get the rest on 4th down.

  32. I’m not sure why this is a story. I am a fat guy in Kansas watching on TV and I knew which friggin down it was. The fact the Joe Buck and Troy were confused isn’t relevant. The fact that Felix didn’t on the last play of a game they were supposedly trying to win is a snapshot of how many other problems the Cowboys have besides Tony Romo throwing at opposing players hands.

  33. gyantphan4life says:
    Oct 4, 2011 2:20 PM
    The Vikings lose a 20 pt lead to the Lions after they mustered 0 first half pts. The Cowboys throw 2 pick 6s back to back and then a 3rd INT, and then Felix Jones “forgets” that its 4th down in their last chance to win. Let’s be honest here….even NFL teams feel sorry for Lions fans. If the Lions faced the Giants Deion Grant would fake his own death on the field during the last Megatron TD catch to give the Lions the victory. Lions fans, you’re finally going to have a winning season, no matter what the other teams have to do to give it to you!
    ——————————————————–
    Oh, well thank you very much. We Lions fans sure do appreciate the graciousness and generosity of opposing teams in allowing our team to win after basically trampling us for a decade. Amazing how the other 31 teams came together (probably during the CBA talks) to decide that this year the Lions would win at any and all costs.

    By the way, have you thanked the Patriots for allowing your team to win the Super Bowl in 2008, despite your team being led by the clueless Eli? Maybe a fruitbasket or a fondue set would do the trick.

  34. Felix & the ‘Boys and the announcers apparently didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.

  35. How bout dem cowboyz? Couldn’t happen to a better owner or a more obnoxious, sense of entitled fans.

    Thank G-d Steve B and Ozzie ended up hiring Harbs instead of this clown Garrett. Steve wanted Jason while Oz wanted Harbs, but it was Garrett’s wife that made the decision. Bmore just didn’t fit her Texas style. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, we keep making the playoffs, the Cowgirls keep losing because of their GM/owner and to top it all off we got to spoil Jerrah Jonz’s fun with the closing/opening of his new toy. It doesn’t get much better than that

  36. all who are bad mouthing Romo go look at his 4th quarter stats and you’ll feel stupid one of the best ratings in history and another Felix Jones isn’t an every down back so not his fault for running like this it should still be a 3 headed monster so all the haters who say Romo chokes you can choke cause your stupid.

  37. i actually expected a yellow flag to be thrown up and a ref saying..”personal foul…unnecessary roughness on the quarterback…defensive play fell on quarterbacks shoelace….replay fourth down”.

  38. Oh my God. You mean Jones was too busy thinking about the play he was running to remember the down?

    No way!

    So Tim MacMahon says Jones jersey number and IQ are the same? Wow. MacMahon must sit at the cool kids table!

  39. No, it actually was third down.

    I still have no idea how the Lions got everyone to believe it was 4th down.

  40. @kbeau19

    R u serious? R u Tony Romo? Who cares about stats! Stats do not tell the whole story. Romo is a great example of that. He is a great Fantasy QB, but Average reality QB. U have a serious Man Crush. The guy doesn’t need u to make excuses for him. He has Jerry and Himself to do that.

  41. I have to say, all of this talk of winning and the Detroit Lions in the same blog is like Bizarro World. Go Lions! We will see you on Turkey Day.

  42. He could not know it was 4th down as Romo never goes 4 plays with out an INT

    But as he did not and this guy is being paid millions to play a childs game lets try this
    1
    2
    3
    4

    Do not even have to remove a shoe to count to 4
    Down and distance is all over the place give me a break

  43. “forgot the down” was a nice way of saying Jones didn’t want to take 3 hits on the way to trying to gain 15 yards.

  44. @chocolatebaconbutter who says

    “…football IQ and jersey number are roughly equal.”

    LOL. Great stuff.

    ——————–
    Yeah. That is pretty funny. Sort of like how the comedian Carrot Top is funny.

  45. When ROMO beats Tom Brady in New England then he’ll be a top 5 QB again. The reality is, mistakes happen in games people. Maybe Garrett should have been calling running plays. You don’t need to throw it 40+ times when you’re leading by 24 points in the 3rd quarter, lesbianest.

  46. skinheadsam says: Oct 4, 2011 2:35 PM

    BWAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    ESPN loves the Cowboys, but who else does?
    ________________________
    Where do you morons get this crap, BSPN is constantly bashing the Boys, take off your Burgundy colored glasses for 1 second and you might be able to see that.

  47. Felix Jones forgot is was 4&20, because he was high… and now the cowboys are 2-2, and i know why

  48. I loved every minute of the last 5-6 minutes of that game. All the way down to THAT nonsense.

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  49. Wouldn’t have mattered. There were 4 seconds left when he stepped out of bounds with a lions defender and 13 more yards to go for a first down. If he had managed to get the first down, time would have expired anyway.

  50. Lets face it jones is typical of your modern NFL player.this kind of stuff happens every sunday. a team trying to run out the clock and today’s running backs are so used to going out of bounds to avoid contact they run out of bounds and the clock stops.today’s typical player’s IQ is about 10 points lower than it was 30 to 35 years ago. prime example is Vince Young ,he scored than anybody in the history of the NFL.just saying

  51. Hard to imagine a full grown human being could be that overwhelmed intellectually by merely having an understanding of one of the 3 or 4 fundamentals necessary to preserve a chance in that game.

    Felix’s grade for Situational Awareness on a scale of 0-100?

    Whatever number translates to absolute pea brain.

    It’s in the “the Chargers’ DB Marlon McCree trying to run that the-game-is-sealed pic versus the Patriots” category of idiocy.

  52. There was a time in the League when a running back would be ridiculed for going out of bounds on ANY down and distance.

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