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Cowher, Jones agree that Cowboys should have run the ball

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

I’ve sounded off a few times this week about the failure of the Cowboys, when they had the ball at their own 27 with 25 minutes and 30 seconds to play and a 24-point lead, to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball against the Lions.  I’ve stayed on the topic in large part because quarterback Tony Romo seems to be getting all of the blame for the eventual squandering of the lead.

But head coach Jason Garrett, who also calls the plays on offense, deserves at least part of the blame for opting to call for a pass on that fateful first down.  The ball was intercepted by Lions linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who ran it in for a touchdown, giving the Lions exactly the spark they needed.

On Wednesday, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher questioned the wisdom of throwing passes in that situation.

“I put some of that on Jason Garrett, to be honest with you,” Cowher told Vic Carucci of Cleveland Browns Daily.  “I think when you get leads in this league, you as a head coach, when you get a lead, you’ve got to be able to manage that.  And you don’t just play the same way as if I’m down by three or a tie game, your risk-reward.  When you have a lead, and you have a double-digit lead, to me, there’s a method to closing out a game. So, to have [Romo] back passing and to throw those balls that he threw, I put some of that on Jason Garrett.  Certainly, [Romo’s] the one out there playing, he’s the one that’s going to make some of those decisions.  And I know you have to trust your quarterback, but also when there’s a history there, you do have to also condition him.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agrees.  “[I]f you really look hard at where we were in that third quarter, you can make a case that if you run the ball a few times and punt it, run the ball a few times and punt it, stats show that you can’t lose it,” Jones told KRLD-FM on Tuesday.  “You do get some punts blocked from time to time and you do fumble the ball from time to time.”

Jones said he has made his feelings known to Garrett.  “I’ve had several conversations with Jason and certainly how and what we did from about the five-minute point or 10 minutes left in the third quarter was a part of them,” Jones said.  “I know this.  I was really pleased with how we were playing through and by that point and at no time, even after the second interception, did I think that the wheels had come off relative to what we were doing offensively.”

But the wheels did come off, and the most likely explanation is that Garrett wanted to deliver a knockout blow to the Lions, so that the football-watching world would be on notice that the Cowboys, not the Lions, are the hottest team in the league.  Instead, the Cowboys knocked themselves out, and the Lions have received yet another boost as they continue to win games after years of winning not many.

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63 Responses to “Cowher, Jones agree that Cowboys should have run the ball”
  1. jacunn2000 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:19 AM

    And sausage tastes good. Thanks PFT.

  2. ny82jy says: Oct 6, 2011 9:20 AM

    That was a inexcusable loss sunday for dallas. A few more like that and garrett isnt going to last. Maybe jerry should talk to cowher about coaching next yr.

  3. cakemixa says: Oct 6, 2011 9:24 AM

    lol do you guys post any stories that aren’t about Romo / Vick?

  4. quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 6, 2011 9:26 AM

    I love how Bill “Coward” can criticize some other coach now that he’s just an analyst.

    You can bet old “ass-chin” would never have made those same comments if he was still coaching in the league.

    Sounds a little “Tiki” to me..

  5. baddegg says: Oct 6, 2011 9:26 AM

    I know it’s popular to call Dan Snyder the most meddlesome owner in pro sports, but after reading this, can there be any doubt that Jones is 100 x more so?

    Here is an owner publically — in the media — questioning the decision making of his coach.

    Additionally, he went and sat down with him and told him that he should have called a different game (assuming that’s what he meant by “making his feelings known”…in this context).

    If you have this same article about Dan Snyder, everyone is on here saying, “that’s why the Redskins will be losers for 100 years.”

    Not so for the Cowboys. The next time they win a game, Romo will be a conquering hero and the team will garner a top 10 Power Ranking spot.

  6. 7thlombardiontheway says: Oct 6, 2011 9:27 AM

    Wow, we are so amazing. You must be so amazingly jealous. Wow, we bathe in glory. You bathe in tears. LOL

  7. m2karateman says: Oct 6, 2011 9:28 AM

    Despite this report, it won’t stop the Romo haters from piling on. And while they have a point, because Romo did throw into very good coverage all three times he was intercepted, it should also be noted strongly that he simply should not have been put in that position, to throw the ball rather than just handing it off. It was a team effort that got them the lead. It was a team effort that blew that lead…not just Romo.

  8. dccowboy says: Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM

    How long are you going to ride this horse? Isn’t it getting a little tired?

  9. 7thlombardiontheway says: Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM

    Cowher is easily one of the greatest coaches of all time along with Noll and Tomlin. Wow, so decorated and historic. Jealous?

  10. steelerchicken says: Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM

    Jones meant to say I should have hired Cowher instead of this Ivy League coach

  11. slapnutz says: Oct 6, 2011 9:30 AM

    I can really make the case if someone would punt Jones and run him off the cameras and radio to his owners box, I might actually like the cowboys and Jones.

  12. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Oct 6, 2011 9:34 AM

    Coach Jones was also quoted as saying… “I want to get in the octogan with Garrett”

  13. davidjcu says: Oct 6, 2011 9:34 AM

    Cowboys should fire Jason Garrett and hire the coach from Coastal Carolina University. “we don’t need no cats…we need more dogs.”

  14. 7thlombardiontheway says: Oct 6, 2011 9:38 AM

    Wow, I wake up in the morning and thank God we can fit all these rings on one hand… Oh, wait…

  15. freebird2011 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:39 AM

    Re: “The most likely explanation is that Garrett wanted to deliver a knockout blow to the Lions, so that the football-watching world would be on notice that the Cowboys, not the Lions, are the hottest team in the league.”

    Pride goeth before the fall.

  16. 7thlombardiontheway says: Oct 6, 2011 9:41 AM

    Wow, we walk on water, yet buy a boat. You’re not dealing with mortals. Six

  17. twb5003 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:43 AM

    Nice! Another dig at the lions. It’s kinda getting old. They are winning games and have talent all over the field. Too bad no one can let go of the last ten years.

  18. metalman5150 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:46 AM

    I do believe Chris Cooley said the same thing yesterday. But most people were butthurt about it. Hail Skins!
    “I’m just saying, I’m up 24 points in the third quarter, if I’m the head coach, I feel like I could probably just take a knee for the rest of the game, punt it away and there’s no way that Detroit’s gonna drive on you that many times. The only way you’re gonna give up that many points is turnovers, right?” CC47

  19. bossmode says: Oct 6, 2011 9:49 AM

    So now it’s Jason Garrett’s fault. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? Why give the Lions any credit at all for winning games they would otherwise just cash out on in years past? Pathetic.

  20. dalfanforever says: Oct 6, 2011 9:52 AM

    Even if you’re not running the ball effectively, you have to continue to do it. Eventually, you can run a play action to keep a defense honest and a little off balance. We were screaming at the TV, “Run the freaking ball!” When any QB throws the ball 47 times, bad things will eventually happen. This isn’t even a defense of Romo. It’s the law of averages. You’re salting away potentially 2.5 minutes of game including a punt, assuming you’re going 3 and out each time.

    Garrett has to take some of the blame here because he’s calling in the play. Romo has to have some leeway to change the play based on what he’s seeing or not seeing. But if you’re calling a pass every time Romo’s under center, you’re flirting with disaster. You’re putting the entire game in his hands alone, and that’s not fair to any QB. Our backs aren’t great this year and the line is very young, but they have to learn and produce like everyone else.

  21. deadmanwalking47 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:53 AM

    guess we can all sleep better now that a genius like jerry jones and an agomaniac with a chin agrees on what the cowboys should have done,yet did’nt!
    why not give the lions credit for coming back like they did in a very hostile place?the hypocrisy of some people amaze me!

  22. humbleminded85 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:55 AM

    Why do yall do this PFT? You guys have tried so many times in the last few weeks(probably longer)to make a nonstory a story. Im not saying this isn’t new worthy, what im saying is when you title an article “Cowher, Jones agree that Cowboys should have run the ball” you purposely put out subliminal messages.1. Cowher and Jones didnt’t agree on anything cause that would mean they were conversating between each other…which they weren’t. They just happened to have a simular opinion. 2. You know you put that title just to make people think that the “agreement” would somehow relate to Cowher being the a future HC candidate in Dallas which is just wrong beacause thats not happening(at least not right now) None of this unintentional and thats sad. This is the same site that annouced a former player died, then retracted the story after finding out he was…well…not dead! For a site that always takes shot at the mothership(ESPN), for trying to spin storys, you guys really need to look in the mirror.

  23. GG Eden says: Oct 6, 2011 10:08 AM

    What Garrett won’t say….

    Play-callers and QBs have been throwing games away and chocking since Pudge Heffelfinger was around.

  24. klee0384 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:08 AM

    How many times have we heard this before? Why would you run the ball when you have so many star receivers? Jason Garrett will never learn.

  25. spytdi says: Oct 6, 2011 10:10 AM

    Skeletor and Jaws coaching, but wait, who’s the coach? Shut up and let the man do his job. Romo’s a goof that threw a pass so his best friend “Barbie” wouldn’t get cut by another team. Boy’s go 10-6.

  26. m2karateman says: Oct 6, 2011 10:15 AM

    spytdi says:
    Oct 6, 2011 10:10 AM
    Skeletor and Jaws coaching, but wait, who’s the coach? Shut up and let the man do his job. Romo’s a goof that threw a pass so his best friend “Barbie” wouldn’t get cut by another team. Boy’s go 10-6.
    ——————————————————–
    I suppose Chris Houston and Stephen Tulloch are best friends with Tony Romo as well then?

    Carpenter is in absolutely no danger of being cut in Detroit. Never was. In fact, they made every effort to re-sign him.

    Don’t despair because your coaches in Dallas couldn’t get him playing well. Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham know how to motivate players and get them to play to their strengths.

    Good luck with the 10-6 prediction. I’m seeing more of an 8-8 team, but with some positive breaks they could make 10-6.

  27. RomosRibs says: Oct 6, 2011 10:15 AM

    It’s Thursday. Can we move on?

  28. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:20 AM

    Like I said on Monday:

    “after they went up 27-3, playcalling from that point was 11 runs and 22 passes and that’s including a few times that Romo audibled into runs. Even if you take out the 8 pass attempts on the Cowboys last drive it’s 14 passes and 11 runs and probably more like 17 passes and 8 runs when you factor in the audibles. IMO Jason Garrett deserves criticism as much as Romo. Maybe more. But there’s enough to go around, for sure!

  29. tinbender2000 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:26 AM

    7thlombardiontheway says:
    Oct 6, 2011 9:41 AM
    Wow, we walk on water, yet buy a boat. You’re not dealing with mortals. Six

    ===============================Wow, we walk on water, yet buy a boat. You’re dealing with morons. Six

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  30. ppc50 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:32 AM

    There is no doubt they should have run the ball. I think Garrett’s playcalling has been suspect for a couple of years now. The Cowboys have been stopped at the one or inside of the redzone numerous time over the last 2 years. It shows that they need a power back to compliment Jones. Ricky Williams and McGahee were available in free agency and took reasonable contracts – that is on the GM/owner. Punts do get blocked, as one did vs. the Jets, but all they had to do is get a couple of first downs, run the ball, and put pressure on the Lions to score. Romo made some bad decisions, but after the first int. Garrett should have known better. The loss vs. the Jets and Lions cost them a chance to make the playoffs.

  31. raiderlyfe510 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:40 AM

    That’s why there’s been all of the 20+ point comeback wins..it’s passing league.

    Watch when January comes around..see how far that pass heavy offense get you. To win in January you better be able to run and stop the run…That’s why the Jets do major damage in the playoffs once they get in..cause they can run the ball and stop the run.Once their QB learns how to move the chains on 3rd down consistently..they’ll be dangerous.

  32. tmac4454 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:44 AM

    Watch out Opie, your time in the Big D is almost up. If B Cowher is talking to J Jones, you need to get your office ready for packing. Nomo will soon be departing also. Oil man says, he is not paying good money for losers…Good Luck Cowhoes…

  33. joetoronto says: Oct 6, 2011 10:45 AM

    You guys blaming Garrett for not running the ball don’t get it.

    Jones makes all the calls in the 4th quarter, always has, always will.

  34. robolundgren says: Oct 6, 2011 10:48 AM

    “I do believe Chris Cooley said the same thing yesterday. But most people were butthurt about it. Hail Skins!
    “I’m just saying, I’m up 24 points in the third quarter, if I’m the head coach, I feel like I could probably just take a knee for the rest of the game, punt it away and there’s no way that Detroit’s gonna drive on you that many times. The only way you’re gonna give up that many points is turnovers, right?” CC47″
    ________________________________

    I guess that same philosophy is why he has 7 catches for 66 yards in 4 games. Focus a little less on MMA “bro”.

  35. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:51 AM

    Don’t despair because your coaches in Dallas couldn’t get him playing well. Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham know how to motivate players and get them to play to their strengths.

    ———————–

    Right, you can tell by their career records.

  36. pikkiwoki says: Oct 6, 2011 10:52 AM

    The Cowboys pulled a Tyson Fury and uppercut themselves in the face.

  37. thingamajig says: Oct 6, 2011 10:55 AM

    A whole lot of back patting going on with this story.

  38. hendawg21 says: Oct 6, 2011 11:04 AM

    Oh quit crying over spilled milk…not like it’s the first time a team has blown a big lead and lost and it sure wont’ be the last…and there is no “I” in team so everyone of them can take the blame!

    I don’t see alot of this conversation about the lead the Eagles blew against a 49ers team which is offensively challenged…

    Plus as Dennis Green would say they are who we thought they were…a 6-10 team last year so I don’t understand why you sports talking heads feel that the cowboys are above and beyond falling flat on their faces… I mean Jerruh is still running the show…

  39. hendawg21 says: Oct 6, 2011 11:08 AM

    7thlombardiontheway says:
    Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM
    Cowher is easily one of the greatest coaches of all time along with Noll and Tomlin. Wow, so decorated and historic. Jealous?

    oh come now Cowher has how many Superbowl rings??? Tomlin has how many??? Greatest of all time seems to be a real stretch when you say greatest your list should be as such:

    Lombardi
    Noll
    Walsh
    Gibbs

    One Superbowl does not make one a greatest of all time…

  40. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 6, 2011 11:12 AM

    And then when the running game doesn’t work, the coach gets criticized for changing what was so effective in the first half. If you run three plays and punt on every possession in the second half, Detroit is explosive enough that they can easily score 24 points in a half. You have to pass sometime. I would recommend some safer passes that are less likely to be intercepted, though.

    (Of course, a 3-yard screen pass seems like a safe play, but McNabb managed to get that intercepted this week.)

  41. usmutts says: Oct 6, 2011 11:15 AM

    The argument can be made that the Cowboys are slowly devolving into the Raiders as Jerry Jones slowly devolves into Al Davis.

  42. hedleykow says: Oct 6, 2011 11:19 AM

    That was generous of Jones, telecasting to the rest of the league that next time the Cowboys have a marginal 4th quarter lead, Garret’s job depends on him calling only running plays. But at least Jones got to shift the blame for the suckiness of his organization to someone other than himself.

  43. polegojim says: Oct 6, 2011 11:19 AM

    Well Jason…. aren’t you paid to make those kinds of decisions DURING the game?

    Face it, Romo has good talent with heart, but he’s simply weak minded.

    He may even win a SuperBowl in Dallas, but somebodies got to tell him what to do. He just doesn’t have a ‘leaders’ level of aptitude.

  44. broncobillie says: Oct 6, 2011 11:22 AM

    Not only did Garrett make poor play calls, but he was the first to throw Romo under the bus. Almost like his play calling sucked till it got Wade Phillips fired, then suddenly, miraculously, improved.

    To take a phrase from Keyshawn: just run the damn ball!

  45. Lev says: Oct 6, 2011 11:24 AM

    Jerry Jones is killing his team. I’ve seen it in DC as well as here in Carolina (on a lesser scale mind you…Delhomme-Fox-Richardson…) but I have a hard time believing that Dallas can ever be successful with their current personel.

    You have several highly talented players, yet the team lacks solid, proven leadership. And with everyone and their brother hyping Tony Romo to be such a leader, letdown in inevitable. Romo is not a failure, he is an average starting QB, just hyped to the stratosphere. Much like the aforementioned Delhomme, Romo is simply not an elite Quarterback.

    Oh, and before all you Dallas fans bash me for comparing Jake and Tony, consider Delhomme’s playoff wins, Division titles, and Superbowl appearances….doesn’t seem so bad eh?

  46. 6ball says: Oct 6, 2011 11:34 AM

    .

    I watched the game and couldn’t believe they weren’t running and screening. Their personnel would certainly seem to be adequate to protect such a large lead.

    .

  47. gmenhq says: Oct 6, 2011 11:44 AM

    Its ironic because last year the criticism of Garrett and the Cowboys was running too much. Obviously, letting Barber go and the injuries to the backfield played a part. But his decision to come out guns blazing in the second half was probably putting too much trust in Romo’s hands. And Romo went Romo.

  48. ninerdude915 says: Oct 6, 2011 11:45 AM

    yep the whole team choked

  49. nite2al says: Oct 6, 2011 12:06 PM

    What’s the big deal? If Cowboys had scored a TD instead of getting the pick, no one is complaining. Gotta love hindsight… Besides, Patriots do it all the time…oops, it doesn’t result in interceptions, my bad.

  50. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:15 PM

    Oh, and before all you Dallas fans bash me for comparing Jake and Tony, consider Delhomme’s playoff wins, Division titles, and Superbowl appearances….doesn’t seem so bad eh?

    —————————–

    Super Bowl appearances? Why the plural? The year the Pansies went to the Super Bowl Delhomme threw 16 INTs against 19 TDs. Sorry, seems pretty bad. You know, like they won in spite of him.

  51. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:19 PM

    Its ironic because last year the criticism of Garrett and the Cowboys was running too much.

    ———————–

    Don’t remember that. Play selection was 428 runs/576 passes last year. This year on pace for 404 runs/ 648 passes.

  52. dirtydrynn27 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:25 PM

    Chris Cooley may have only 7 rec. for 66 yds But he didnt give any opposing team 14 points!

    And by the way….What team is in 1st place in that division???

    I know I know Dallas really beat the crap out of the Redskins on that Monday Night with a truck Load of field goals….18 to 16,Now thats got to be the most lopsided win in the history of the NFL! Wow!!! Im really impressed with that win!!!

    Learn to hold on to a lead!!!!!!

  53. wiley16350 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:27 PM

    The fact that Romo gets so much love and people love to find ways to absolve him of his stupidity is exactly why I can’t root for the guy. I bet in the history of the NFL there has been more offensive coordinators blamed for allowing comebacks because they go into conservative mode than QB’s have been blamed for losing games because of the kind of stupidity such that Romo was this past weekend. It probably isn’t even close. If you can’t trust your QB to make good decisions when he has that big of a lead, then maybe he shouldn’t be your QB. Romo is a lot more like Rex Grossman than he is Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. But the stupid thing is the media has us believe that Romo is elite and Grossman has no business playing in the NFL.

  54. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:45 PM

    Chris Cooley may have only 7 rec. for 66 yds But he didnt give any opposing team 14 points!

    ————————–

    He didn’t give his own team any points, either.

    “I know I know Dallas really beat the crap out of the Redskins on that Monday Night with a truck Load of field goals….18 to 16,Now thats got to be the most lopsided win in the history of the NFL! Wow!!! Im really impressed with that win!!!”

    It’s more impressive than losing to field goals.

  55. tinbender2000 says: Oct 6, 2011 12:54 PM

    7thlombardiontheway says: Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM

    Cowher is easily one of the greatest coaches of all time along with Noll and Tomlin. Wow, so decorated and historic. Jealous?
    ======================================

    This just in. The article is about the Dallas Cowboys.
    Nobody outside of Crapsburg cares about an old, fading team in an old fading city in Pennsylvania. BTW, you keep saying “We”. What position do you play?

    @ hendawg21 Looked over and over your list, no arguments here.

  56. bobhk says: Oct 6, 2011 12:55 PM

    Must suck to play for a meddlesome owner like Jones.

  57. Lev says: Oct 6, 2011 1:13 PM

    Plural and mistaken as it is, Romo will never lead the Cowboys to as many playoff wins as Delhomme did here with Carolina.

    Remind me how many Super Bowl appearances Romo has anyway??

  58. robertallen1958 says: Oct 6, 2011 1:36 PM

    7thlombardiontheway says:
    Oct 6, 2011 9:29 AM
    Cowher is easily one of the greatest coaches of all time along with Noll and Tomlin. Wow, so decorated and historic. Jealous?

    oh come now Cowher has how many Superbowl rings??? Tomlin has how many??? Greatest of all time seems to be a real stretch when you say greatest your list should be as such:

    Lombardi
    Noll
    Walsh
    Gibbs

    One Superbowl does not make one a greatest of all time…

    well you did forget a couple
    Jimmy Johnson
    the great Tom Landry

    also if you were really watchin the game the great lions were gettin there ass handed to them before romo’s meltdown, they didn’t win anything the cowboys handed it to them and when they look at the film they will realize how amazingly lucky they were, a big if i know but if romo did hit witten and dez the lions would have got creamed like 45 to 7 so keep talken lion fans btw to Cooly the cowboys beat you redskins, talk when you win!

  59. jimmylions says: Oct 6, 2011 1:41 PM

    I’m shocked that no one has raised the most obvious issue … this is all Jessica Simpson’s fault. She’s still the reason for Romo’s misfortunes.

    Can we all agree that last Sunday’s game is a horse that is completely dead? Let’s quit beating it into the ground?

    Someone needs to remind Jerry Jones that you keep family desputes inside the house – in public you walk and talk as one team united against all foes.

    Give the Lions credit – 2 weeks in a row, when all hope seemed to be lost, they didn’t give up and they didn’t quit. They stood tall, kicked butt, and won their game. I’m just hoping this falling behind by 20+ thing doesn’t become a habit – my nerves can’t take it!

    Detroit’s 4-0 streak shows that we’ve got some depth in key positions. 2nd team players like Bobby Carpenter stepped up like they want to be on the 1st team. I love that runback – he was not going to be denied!

  60. ham1 says: Oct 6, 2011 3:25 PM

    Wade has to be laughing at Opie right now.
    Funny, Skelator didnt like it then, and he doesnt like it now. The rest of us are loving it, including 42.

  61. quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 6, 2011 3:48 PM

    tinbender2000 says:Oct 6, 2011 12:54 PM

    This just in. The article is about the Dallas Cowboys.

    Nobody outside of Crapsburg cares about an old, fading team in an old fading city in Pennsylvania.

    BTW, you keep saying “We”.
    What position do you play?

    ———————————————————-

    EXACTLY!

    You know, you really shouldn’t confuse Stealer fans with the facts like that.

    They still think the NFL didn’t exist before 1965 and that their team didn’t stink for the first 4 decades they were in existence.

    Their fans are more delusional than Red Sox fans…

  62. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 5:18 PM

    Plural and mistaken as it is, Romo will never lead the Cowboys to as many playoff wins as Delhomme did here with Carolina.

    —————————————–

    Maybe not, but he won’t have to live in North Carolina, either. Make no mistake… the Cowboys go as Romo goes. He’s the catalyst. Jake Delhomme was never anything more than a bus driver at his peak.

  63. howley1 says: Oct 6, 2011 5:22 PM

    Wade has to be laughing at Opie right now.

    ———————————-

    Don’t know what he’d be laughing about. Garrett is something that Wade Phillips will never be again. A head coach. Do you think the Texans will keep him around after Kubiak is fired after this season?

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