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Garrett tries to defend shaky clock management

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Cowboys coach Jason Garrett iced his own kicker on Sunday in Dallas’ loss to the Cardinals.

That was a funny, frustrating, unlucky decision for the Cowboys head coach. But it wasn’t nearly the worst coaching move he made in the final seconds on Sunday.

The Cowboys had two timeouts left when Tony Romo completed a first down to the Cardinals 31-yard line with 31 seconds left in the game. Instead of using a timeout then, the Cowboys decided to take their time and spike the ball with seven seconds left.

It made absolutely no sense. The Cowboys could have 2-3 more plays to get the ball closer for their kicker Dan Bailey.

“We very well could have taken a timeout there,” Garrett said after the game via “We felt like we were in field-goal range. We have yard lines that we use as guidelines before the game. We felt like we were in range at that point.

“You see so many situations where you have negative plays in those situations. We felt like we were in his range to give him a chance to kick the game-winner.”

We see coaches hurt their team by playing things too close to the vest too often. It happened with Norv Turner against the Broncos, and it happened with the Cowboys Sunday.

Garrett said he had no regrets.  When you can set up a rookie kicker for a 49-yard field goal, you just can’t pass up an opportunity like that.

“Well, we felt pretty good about where we were,” Garrett said. “Once you get to that 30-yard line we felt like that was a pretty good opportunity for us.”

Jerry Jones did his best to be diplomatic.

“We had an alternative. We could have run two, possibly three more plays there, but we have a lot of confidence in that kicker. It didn’t work. We all would have liked to have had 20 more yards. But that’s really speculating as to what we’d have done with the ball,” Jones said.

The Cowboys played not to lose. When that happens, you usually lose.

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80 Responses to “Garrett tries to defend shaky clock management”
  1. iambadkid says: Dec 4, 2011 10:04 PM

    yeah 19-13 the home team won but there is one score they have to win by it is 38-35 if the home team could win with that score that one side of any matchup could be a force to be reckoned with

  2. unbiased8383 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:05 PM

    It’s disgusting how bad Garrett wastes the talent on this team. When he first started he had creativity. Now he sticks Dez at the X and never motions him, never puts him in the slot. It’s always the same either a slant, fade or comeback at 12 yards. It’s so easy to defend. You know when they’re gonna run it with their little fake throw draw every damn time or a sweep for 1 yard. With the weapons they have my God…Murray, Dez, Witten, Bennett, Felix, Robinson, Austin, Phillips, Tanner. Romo gets all the blame but jesus do you see the throws he makes? He has to pull an Iverson juke everytime he throws the ball. Garrett doesn’t do anything to take advantage of the matchups we could have. If Sean Payton was coaching this team we’d light it up like the 07 Pats. Instead we score 13-20 against crap teams. I’m done with him. I’m going to the game Sunday and even if we win I have had enough of him.

  3. otis52gsh says: Dec 4, 2011 10:07 PM

    Stupidest coaching decision this year. And not admitting it makes it even worse. Yes even worse than mike smith.

  4. jetgreeeen says: Dec 4, 2011 10:09 PM

    Garrett is a horrible coach……Jones will fire him at the end of the season.

  5. seatownballers says: Dec 4, 2011 10:16 PM

    How can Garrett say he felt like they were in field goal range? The kicker missed a field goal in the first qtr. Makes more sense to try to gain a few more yards running it, then use your time outs. Instead of spiking it, then icing your own guy with a time out.

  6. gavinmac says: Dec 4, 2011 10:16 PM

    Rosenthal is absolutely right.

    Garrett is extremely conservative for a young coach. Earlier in the game, he passed up 4th and short on the 36 yard line to attempt a 53 yard field goal.

    He also punted from the Cards’ 35 later in the game.

    He also passed up a 4th and 1 from midfield late in the game and punted.

    There have been other occasions this year when he has gotten into long field goal range late in the game and just sat on the ball. This is the first time it cost him.

  7. teal379 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:16 PM

    Could be they called the spike because he’s still scared of Romo throwing a soul crushing INT or fumble in the last seconds to kill it….

  8. jobo50 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:17 PM

    Welcome to December Cowboy fans. Its time for their annual December swoon. Don’t be shocked they lose 3 out of 4 and miss the playoffs. Just sayin!!!

  9. bigd88 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:21 PM

    Worst part is, in the big picture, this will go down as another “Romo December loss.”
    If there’s any justice in the world, Romo should punch Garrett in the face and break his nose on the flight back to Dallas.

  10. eaglesandflyers says: Dec 4, 2011 10:27 PM

    Sounds like something Andy Reid would do.

  11. freedomispopular says: Dec 4, 2011 10:33 PM

    Ok, so you had confidence in your kicker. That’s fine. He made it the first time, so your confidence was well-placed. But why on earth would you call a timeout there?!?! Makes no sense.

  12. mcjon22 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:35 PM

    Garrett is a decent coach but he’s not made to run a team like Dallas and work for a guy like Jerry Jones. But then again, not too many people are if you’ve been paying attention to the Cowboys the last 12 years.

  13. vikesfan320 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:39 PM

    Jerry Jones: “…but we have a lot of confidence in that kicker.”

    So much confidence, that Jerry Jones doesn’t even know who his kicker is.

  14. livenbreathefootball says: Dec 4, 2011 10:39 PM

    Even with the bad clock management they still would have won if he hadn’t iced his own kicker. The first kick was good.

  15. norcal031 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:43 PM

    How do your ice your own kicker?!

  16. moerawn says: Dec 4, 2011 10:45 PM

    Garrett’s probably afraid to make any decisions with Jones all up in his mix. How many owners in the League do you hear from in the media every single week? Just one.

  17. dolphins4 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:45 PM

    Garrett isn’t the head coach Jerry is.

  18. secretomen00 says: Dec 4, 2011 10:46 PM

    my fellow cowboys fans will never believe me…this team will not ever advance deep into the playoffs with garrett calling the plays. i’m super frustrated because there’s so much talent on offense. it would be a dream for sean payton to call plays for this team.

  19. 3menandablog says: Dec 4, 2011 11:01 PM

    Norv Turner thinks that was great clock management.

  20. coolgato13 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:06 PM

    Garrett had better make the playoffs now… if not buh-bye!

  21. bigredjbird says: Dec 4, 2011 11:06 PM

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda. The Cowboys had a chance to stop them in OT, they didn’t. The better team won, it’s that simple.

  22. norcalmafia says: Dec 4, 2011 11:09 PM

    Whats new, Cowboys are terrible but will still be all oved espn.

  23. kennyfukinpowers says: Dec 4, 2011 11:09 PM

    Unexcusable piss-poor decision by Garrett. Time to bring in Jeff Fisher as the new head coach and Norv Turner as the OC. Rob Ryan has done a good job with the defense considering they need help in the secondary (draft and free agency needs to fix this).

  24. sippindasyzurp says: Dec 4, 2011 11:12 PM

    Him icing his own kicker cost me a chance at winning $600, that f ucker

  25. kahanapaniolo says: Dec 4, 2011 11:13 PM

    Head Coach or offensive coordinator? You are not equipped to do both. Make your decision.

  26. theeperspective says: Dec 4, 2011 11:16 PM

    It makes sense if you dont think about it

  27. jimmysimpson55 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:16 PM

    Just another Jerry yes-man.

  28. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 4, 2011 11:17 PM

    The Cowboys are the second-best NFL team in the state of Texas. True fact.

  29. realnflmaster says: Dec 4, 2011 11:22 PM

    Jerry better promote Rob this off-season he’s losing him.

    Garrett is worse than Art Shell.

  30. fn0901 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:25 PM

    ha ha

  31. pravin68 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:26 PM

    Jason Garrett should be fired for the statement that he finds his odds pretty good for a 49 yard FG. Since when was that distance automatic?

    Oh, second dumbest decision: Jim Schwartz for punting with only 6 miun left and 2 TDs behind the Saints

  32. wtfru2 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:27 PM

    Icing works once in a while, doesn’t it?

  33. upperdecker19 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:27 PM

    I thought Garrett’s clock management skills were impeccable.

    Andy Reid

  34. jmat40 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:33 PM

    Why doesn’t Jerry Jones just take over as the official Cowboys head coach?
    Who in their right mind would want to coach the Cowboys with Jones breathing down their neck constantly. No wonder mistakes are made.
    I am SO glad the Steelers have Mike Tomlin and that the Rooney’s always let the man they hire to coach coach. Choose who you believe is the right man for the job and get out of his way so he can do his job.
    It’s worked pretty well for the Steelers over the years.

  35. yevrag3535 says: Dec 4, 2011 11:35 PM

    Dallas sucks

  36. dalfanforever says: Dec 4, 2011 11:41 PM

    Amazing. Romo finally getting a little protection and was marching. You have him spike it then you ice Bailey YOURSELF! Red, I love ya, but you need some serious lessons in clock management and playcalling.

  37. dkampling says: Dec 4, 2011 11:43 PM

    Paging Les Miles… Les Miles for 9 Million a year? Les Miles…

  38. fragorock says: Dec 4, 2011 11:50 PM

    las vegas called!! MONEY GAME

  39. broncobillie says: Dec 4, 2011 11:53 PM

    This is the guy who got Wade Phillips fired (the one who turned the other Texas team into one of the best NFL defenses) with his lousy offensive play calling. Now he’s extended that to his special teams with that timeout.

  40. bigredjbird says: Dec 5, 2011 12:16 AM

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Cowboys could have stopped them in OT but they didn’t. The better team won, plain and simple.

  41. gmacc85 says: Dec 5, 2011 12:21 AM

    What??? Les miles… come on dude! We need Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher but will never get them because Mr. Jones doesn’t want playoff type men , he wants yes men.

  42. stonedwhitetrash says: Dec 5, 2011 12:40 AM

    Garrett was afraid Jerry would jump his wimpy ass. Rob Ryan should do a belly flop on him

  43. lookatthefarside says: Dec 5, 2011 12:55 AM

    Since Eric Cartman says that gingers have no soul, he may be on to something.

  44. staffordsyear says: Dec 5, 2011 1:18 AM

    Cardinals? Haha cowboys stink!

  45. dannymac17 says: Dec 5, 2011 1:53 AM

    Really? Cause he iced his own kicker.

  46. onewinningpick says: Dec 5, 2011 2:46 AM

    If the cowboys miss the playoffs, it will 100% be Karma coming back for Jason Garret. He so blatantly tanked the first half of last year so he could make a play for the HC job. They have one of the worst offenses through the first half of the season, then all of the sudden turn it on as soon as he takes over? Cowboys fans will never admit it, but wade philips was the scapegoat for every failure during his tenure in Dallas. He was a pretty good HC, obviously a phenomenal DC; but he was never 100% supported there and it showed when his players disrespected him.

  47. jerruhjones21 says: Dec 5, 2011 3:06 AM

    Just SMH…

    Where is Howley (Vox) to explain this act of stupidity…

    My only hope is that when Skeletor dies, his son is smart enough to hire a football professional to be the GM…

  48. db105 says: Dec 5, 2011 4:07 AM

    Because it’s in the kicker’s range does not mean it’s easy to make. Garrett needs to learn something about odds and probabilities.

  49. mlmeier says: Dec 5, 2011 4:13 AM

    If I were a betting man, I’d say the over/under for number of NFC East coaches fired this off-season just went up to 3 1/2.

  50. ham1 says: Dec 5, 2011 6:09 AM

    Every time you think a team is going to bust out of the NFC East and make a legit run to the playoffs they either:

    get spanked by lesser teams
    Coaches make stupid calls when the team is playing their heart out.
    other teams hand them a game and they think they are world beaters
    (and the skins starters feel smoking dope and getting suspended for the remaining games is ok.)

    To think one of the teams is actually going to win the division is laughable.

    The whole NFC East is pitiful this year. They show flashes but none of them are hoisting a Lombardi

  51. righton989 says: Dec 5, 2011 6:28 AM

    How ’bout dem Cowboys? Using your knowledge and experience to make decisions in critical moments to help the other team win.

  52. eagleswin says: Dec 5, 2011 6:31 AM

    kennyfukinpowers says:
    Dec 4, 2011 11:09 PM
    Unexcusable piss-poor decision by Garrett. Time to bring in Jeff Fisher as the new head coach and Norv Turner as the OC. Rob Ryan has done a good job with the defense considering they need help in the secondary (draft and free agency needs to fix this).


    Not sure why Fisher’s name always get’s brought up for coaching vacancies. A lifetime .500 coach (roughly) whose biggest accomplishment was to get the media to hang on his every word.

  53. joetoronto says: Dec 5, 2011 6:47 AM

    All hating aside, did he or Jerrah ever explain why he iced his own kicker?

    I’m still not understanding this.

  54. fissels says: Dec 5, 2011 7:08 AM

    Cowboys are not playoff caliber, players or coaching

  55. alewatcher says: Dec 5, 2011 7:18 AM

    Dumbest. Call. Ever.

    Seriously? Icing your own kicker, after wasting all that time? Wish I could have seen JJ’s face when this was going down.

    Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…

  56. corndogluv says: Dec 5, 2011 7:19 AM

    Made my day. Thanks jason.

  57. waltdawg says: Dec 5, 2011 7:23 AM

    You should hope and pray that Dan Snyder buys the Cowboys and he will be able turn things around. Man we stink too!

    Cowboys and Redskins fans should host a Superbowl party so we can always watch any team but ours…That ways there would be no fighting

  58. bobbyhoying says: Dec 5, 2011 7:55 AM

    This was worth the price of my Sunday Ticket. Also proves my point that the NFC East will probably be won at 9 – 7, Eagles fans.

  59. fastspecv says: Dec 5, 2011 8:02 AM

    After having a night to sleep on it I’m even more pissed at Garrett then I was yesterday. Hopefully at the end of the year Jerry dumps Garrett and makes Ryan the HC just so he doesn’t lose him to another teams HC job.

  60. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 5, 2011 8:05 AM

    Well, you couldn’t stand Wade, and now you don’t want Garrett after less than 1 full season. If I was a Cowboy fan, I would give him a few seasons to learn, develop, etc….But you and Jerrah will be impatient and we will see what Rob Ryan can do next year….haha, can’t wait to watch that circus!

  61. alewatcher says: Dec 5, 2011 8:14 AM

    bigredjbird says: Dec 4, 2011 11:06 PM

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda. The Cowboys had a chance to stop them in OT, they didn’t. The better team won, it’s that simple.


    The game should have never gone to OT. If Garrett doesn’t ice his own kicker, the game was won. Pure stupidity lost this game.

  62. righton989 says: Dec 5, 2011 8:23 AM

    Not too long ago, Jason was touted as being a brillant OC who would make an outstanding HC.

  63. johnnyuminus says: Dec 5, 2011 8:31 AM

    Unbeknownst to Mr. Jones, the Cowboys offense has been dysfunctional all season — a poor game like where it comes all together this was just waiting to happen. And it goes beyond the offense. So much for the “Rob Ryan for head coach” bandwagon after his unit’s poor play contributed to the loss in a more painful “sudden” way. Isn’t sudden supposed to be less painful? Mr. Jones has assembled an incredibly talented roster that should be competing with the Packers. But once again, it’s about his coaching staff – Mr. Jones’s weakest attribute as evidenced by his history and current conviction of Rob Ryan’s ability as head coach.

  64. ragingmouse says: Dec 5, 2011 8:32 AM

    Garrett is obviously trying to impress people by trying to out smart everyone else…

    He is just part of the problem:

    The offensive line was and is atrocious!!!,
    The defensive line played way too conservative !!!
    The secondary cant make a play is getting exposed!!!

    Forecast? Maybe one playoff win this year…but that’s it!!!

  65. 2ndaryinsanity says: Dec 5, 2011 8:35 AM

    I couldn’t believe the sequence of events @ the end of regulation. Why didn’t Garrett or Romo call a timeout after that long pass completion??? They still had TWO timeouts! Instead, they wasted precious seconds and only had time to kick a field goal. I laughed so hard that beer spewed out my nose when Garrett iced his own kicker. Unbelievable.
    The camera’s caught Jerry Jones shaking his head and pacing in the owner’s box. The only reason Garrett may remain the head coach is that there really aren’t any in-house options. Rob Ryan’s defense has been inconsistent and he’s made a fool of himself several times already.
    Garrett’s probably gone, but the question is….are there really any stud head coaches that would want to coach for the Cowboys and be micro-managed by Jerry? Would Bill Cowher stand for Jerry taking pot shots at him in the media?? Somehow, I don’t think so!!!

  66. goblue714 says: Dec 5, 2011 8:45 AM

    They snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. Good job garret I mean assistant Headcoach to jerry jones. Why doesn’t jerry just get it over and put the headset on?

  67. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Dec 5, 2011 8:45 AM

    As a Cowboys fan I feel like a battered wife. They keep kicking the crap out of me emotionally yet I keep coming back for more every damn Sunday.

    For everyone saying Garrett should be fired, I ask why? What’s next? Rob Ryan? Do you all have any idea how bad of a situation that would be? How long would it be before he and Jerry blow up?

    When I saw Jerry’s grandson in the owners booth I nearly threw up. It is a sad reminder that the Jones family will always be in that booth getting more egotistical and less football intelligent with every generation.

  68. lionsplayoffs says: Dec 5, 2011 8:45 AM

    I feel bad for Romo. He’s a good quarterback and only gets recognition when he throws picks.

  69. wakiash says: Dec 5, 2011 9:15 AM

    Free Dez Bryant (and Dan Baily). They belong on a decent team with an intelligent coach and owner!

  70. wallacejay says: Dec 5, 2011 9:16 AM

    Ok everybody on the count of three – one…two…three…HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!!

  71. abninf says: Dec 5, 2011 9:29 AM

    2ndaryinsanity says: Dec 5, 2011 8:35 AM

    Garrett’s probably gone, but the question is….are there really any stud head coaches that would want to coach for the Cowboys and be micro-managed by Jerry?

    Obviously Sean Peyton want to be the Dallas HC. Thats why he bought a house and moved his family a few minutes away from Valley Ranch and hung out with Dallas players during the lockout.

  72. howley1 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:30 AM

    Bottom line is Garrett doesn’t trust this team. Not calling a timeout with 20+ seconds and two timeouts remaining to run a few plays to try to shorten that attempt is just about as beta as you can get. Pick up a few yards and you don’t have to worry if the FG team doesn’t get set before the play clock runs out. BE AGGRESSIVE. B-E AGGRESSIVE. It’s fricking football, not synchronized swimming. Ginger wimp.

    Still first place though!

  73. suhisabeast90 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:31 AM

    The Cowboys have a ton of talent on their roster… come they can’t win? I hope they clean house on their coaching staff. I miss the old days where the Cowboys were a powerhouse. It doesn’t seem right seeing them with a talented roster that can’t win.

  74. howley1 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:32 AM

    Garrett’s probably gone


    Not a chance.

  75. howley1 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:34 AM

    This was worth the price of my Sunday Ticket. Also proves my point that the NFC East will probably be won at 9 – 7, Eagles fans.


    You realize the Eagles are 4-8, right? They’re not gonna make he playoffs even if they win out.

  76. howley1 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:36 AM

    My only hope is that when Skeletor dies, his son is smart enough to hire a football professional to be the GM…


    Yeah, somebody like Howie Roseman!

  77. howley1 says: Dec 5, 2011 9:39 AM

    All hating aside, did he or Jerrah ever explain why he iced his own kicker?


    He said he didn’t think the FG team was going to be able to lineup and get the snap off before the play clock ran out. I’m not sure what the play clock looked like, it could very well have run out before the first attempt if not for the timeout but the fact remains that if you call a timeout with 20+ seconds left and pick up 5 yards (or more) you’re essentially in the same position (or better) if you have to take a delay penalty.

  78. ernst90 says: Dec 5, 2011 10:30 AM

    Garrett needs fired at the end of the season and we need a Bill Cower, Jay Gruden or Tony Dungy type of coach one with some balls and not so conservative im tired of being a Cowboys fan with all this wasted talent… Also, Jerry Jones needs to let the coaches coach and just pay our players salaries worst owner in the league hands down!

  79. kscogg says: Dec 5, 2011 12:23 PM

    That was, without a doubt, the worst 22 seconds of Garrett’s life. He showed his inexperience as a HC right there. With 2 timeouts they had plenty of time to get things squared away and possibly move closer for their kicker. Instead they hurry to the line and run off almost all of the time. The game had the feel of a cowboy let-down and they did not dissapoint. Maybe it won’t come back to bite them but the Giants will be reeling and a win won’t come easy against them.

  80. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 5, 2011 2:45 PM


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