Cowboys coach Jason Garrett botched his clock management at the end of his team’s loss to the Cardinals.
His decision not to take one of his two timeouts to try run a few plays and try to get closer for a field goal was hard to understand, but his total lack of an explanation a day later is even more befuddling.
Garrett was asked if Tony Romo was told to clock the ball instead of take a timeout when Dez Bryant made a catch with 26 seconds left.
“I don’t have a great answer for you on that,” Garrett said via Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“Again, we’re just working through that situation to be honest with you. We’re talking timeout. He was getting them to the line of scrimmage and obviously when he got them to the line of scrimmage, the conversation we had going in was to clock the ball.”
But didn’t you have a plan or know what you were going to do before the play?
“He caught the ball on the 30-yard line,” Garrett tried to explain. “We kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Hey, he’s in field-goal range. Boom! What do we got here?’ Tony is getting to the line, which is what he’s taught to do – always be ready to get the team to the line of scrimmage.”
Garrett says he would have called a timeout at four seconds, but Romo clocked the ball at seven seconds. So basically Garrett risked having a penalty in the situation and seemed to have no communication with Romo. He also didn’t seem to have a plan for what they’d do if they had a catch at the 30-yard line.
It’s amazing Garrett didn’t have a better answer with 24 hours to think about it. Explain why it was a mistake in retrospect. Or explain the thought process behind the decision not to run a few plays.
Don’t make it sound like you didn’t really make any decision because the situation got overwhelming, even if that’s what happened.