We noted after the Broncos beat the Cowboys that there was a discussion on the Dallas sideline about whether the Cowboys’ defense should have allowed the Broncos to score a touchdown late in the game. The flip side of that discussion was a conversation in which Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told Knowshon Moreno he needed to get a first down, but not a touchdown.
Manning said after the game that he told Moreno that he needed to get inside the 1-yard line for a first down — but not cross the goal line — so that the Broncos could run the a minute and 30 seconds off the game clock and then kick a field goal as time expired. Manning didn’t want the Broncos to score a touchdown and have to kick the ball back to the Cowboys, who would then have time to score a touchdown of their own and send the game into overtime.
“He basically was asking me, ‘How am I supposed to do that? How can I get a half-yard but not get a yard and a half?‘” Manning said, via the Associated Press. “I just said, ‘You can’t! You can’t score! You can’t do it!'”
Moreno did exactly what he was supposed to do, getting the first down but not the touchdown, and the Cowboys could do nothing but watch as Manning then took a knee three times to set up the winning field goal.