Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted after today’s loss to the Patriots that he wasn’t happy with coach Jason Garrett’s play calling late in the game.
“This game was decided right down there at the end, and I am so proud of these players, the way they competed tonight,” Jones said. “We rolled the dice at the end and went conservative rather than try to get some points and it bit us.”
So Jones is proud of the players . . . but the coach? Well, Jones’s comments suggest that he was none too pleased with Garrett calling three straight running plays with the Cowboys holding onto a 16-13 lead with three minutes to go in the game. Garrett obviously thought keeping the ball on the ground was the wise course of action because it would force the Patriots to use their timeouts, but the third running play, on third-and-18, was basically a statement from Garrett that he didn’t trust Tony Romo to make a play.
And after the ensuing punt, Tom Brady made a bunch of plays, marching the Patriots down the field for the game-winning touchdown.
“Whenever you get the ball into the hands of a player like Brady at home, you’ve got problems,” Jones said. “We are up here on their field and we knew what the odds were, so we flipped a coin and it came up against us. We know what [the Patriots] are about and we knew what our challenge was here. If you were in a playoff game, you’d probably drive it home. You always second guess whether or not we should have tried to run a little offense down there instead of running it three times.”
And Jones didn’t hesitate to second-guess his own coach after a tough loss.