In the end, Mike McCarthy has no one to answer to except Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. It’s a good thing since Cowboys fans are left with a lot of questions about the coach’s decision-making this season.
The Giants faced a third-and-16 at the Dallas 42 with 7:07 remaining when Daniel Jones completed a 10-yard pass to Dante Pettis. Replay, though, showed the ball hit the ground without Pettis’ hands underneath.
“No question in my mind that if Dallas would’ve challenged this it would have been reversed to an incomplete pass,” FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira, the former NFL supervisor of officials, said during the broadcast.
McCarthy didn’t challenge it, and Graham Gano kicked a 50-yard field goal with 6:27 left to give the Giants their final margin of victory.
“Just felt it was too close,” McCarthy said of the decision not to challenge the catch, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “Felt it was a bang-bang situation and the fact of the matter is we were in a tight game and the three timeouts was obviously of high value there. We just didn’t think there was enough information to overturn it.”
McCarthy challenged only two plays all season, going 1-1.
The Cowboys used their final timeout after a first-down kneel down by the Giants with 56 seconds left. It forced the Giants to take an additional two kneel downs instead of one.
McCarthy has had more than his share of questionable decisions from the sideline this season, beginning in the season opener when he bypassed a potential tying field goal from the Rams 11-yard line with 11:46 left.
When coaches are right, they are geniuses. When coaches are wrong, they usually are fired.
McCarthy was wrong a lot this season, but he won’t lose his job after one season.
The problem for the Cowboys, though, is McCarthy doesn’t believe his game management was a problem.
“No,” he answered, via Jori Epstein of USA Today. “Not at all.”
The Cowboys also chose not to go for two while trailing 20-15 with 8:39 left. McCarthy said too much time remained.
“[Time] is part of the equation there,” McCarthy said, via Archer. “There’s other variables you look at. You have numbers obviously that you are aware of going into the game, but how the game’s being played and all the other variables are discussed. That’s why the decision was made and I thought it was a clean decision.”