Mike McCarthy expected the league office to put more time on the clock


The Cowboys made a calculated risk at the end of Sunday night’s loss to the 49ers. And it failed.

With 14 seconds left, no timeouts, and the ball on the San Francisco 41, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy called a quarterback draw.

Dak Prescott sprinted all the way to the 24 yard line before sliding to a stop. But Prescott, instead of giving the ball to the umpire, gave the ball to a teammate. That set the stage for the umpire to come crashing through in an effort to spot the ball before the next snap.

And it kept the Cowboys from getting the ball snapped before the clock struck zero.

After the game, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that they practice the quarterback draw in that situation every week, via Ed Werder of ESPN. (Apparently, they don’t practice it enough.) Prescott stayed up for too long and, as mentioned above, he failed to give the ball to the umpire.

McCarthy also said he was told by officials that the modified sky judge apparatus operated from the league office was likely to put more time on the clock. That didn’t happen, obviously.

It’s probably good that the league office didn’t intervene. If they’d given the Cowboys another snap and if the Cowboys had won the game, “the fix is in” cries would have been heard all week, with 49ers fans and others insisting that the league “wanted” the Cowboys to advance.

Ultimately, it’s the fault of the coaching staff and the players. The play was poorly executed on the back end, which means that the coaches didn’t do a sufficient job of teaching the importance of getting things done quickly and cleanly as the final seconds of the game evaporate.

88 responses to “Mike McCarthy expected the league office to put more time on the clock

  1. QB sneak with a few seconds left on the clock… GREAT way to end your season, Cowboys!…
    fitting for such a team…

  2. Yeah…the rules are pretty simple about this: stay in bounds & the clock runs. He tried to get cute and got burned. Although, the ref sure did take his sweet time resetting the ball, I’ll give him that.

  3. McCarthy is just not a very good coach. If he didn’t luck into Aaron Rodgers, no one would know who he is.

  4. If he McCarthy really believes that the league office would intervene, he ought to be fired just on general principle….

  5. McCarthy needs to go. Kellen Moore needs to go. Promote Quinn and tell him he can pick all his assistants as long as none of them were with him in Atlanta.

  6. Pathetic call. Have you ever seen a QB draw go for 40 yards to win the game? It would have to be a TD for that to be a successful play. A long run play, getting talked, waiting for official to get the ball set, and then get everyone lined up….yea, there wasn’t going to be time on the clock. There is no way that was the right call down by more than a FG.

    I’m filing my divorce papers from the Cowboys tomorrow.

  7. There isn’t another coach in the NFL that looks more like a doofus on the sideline than Mike McCarthy.

  8. Am I the only one who thinks Kellen Moore is a fraud and will be an awful head coach?

  9. Cowboys were insane to run that the end with the season resting on a running clock. So what it was supposed to be a second quicker? Two? It’s still an awwwwwful call by the coaches. MCCarthy deserves boatloads of criticism.

  10. Sure.

    Like I expected him not to get outcoached every post-season after 2011.

    Like I expected him make a single halftime adjustment. Ever.

    Sorry Cowboy fan. I feel your pain.

  11. Not a fan of either team. No dog in this hunt. That was one of the most moronic play calls I’ve ever seen.

  12. Ha Ha ha hahahahahahaahahahahahaha Dumbest playoff play since pete didnt hand the ball to marshawn !

  13. lol the ref was booking it as fast as he could. They most likely get the play off if Prescott doesn’t hand the ball to the center and the Dallas o-line doesn’t block the ref from the ball… you can’t set the ball yourself, the ref has to!

  14. That was just plain dumb by Prescott, and I have no dog in this fight other than being pleased when the Packers (finally) dumped McCarthy. This was not the coaches fault. By now, Prescott should be blind-walking familiar with every nuance of the professional game. He just demonstrated he is not. In this situation, this was dumb-as-a-stone stupid, especially knowing they practice it often. He should know better, by now. Did the NFL say it was getting rid of the Wonderlic test? Maybe they shouldn’t.

  15. You know what they say about expectations? Expectations can change as he found out. Now we wait on his job status as he could lose all 3 of his coordinators.

  16. Not a cowboys fan but what kind of spot was that by the ref though? Like he had money on the niners

  17. tiredofcowards says:
    January 16, 2022 at 9:03 pm
    McCarthy needs to go. Kellen Moore needs to go. Promote Quinn and tell him he can pick all his assistants as long as none of them were with him in Atlanta.

    You do realize he picked his assistants in Atlanta AND the defense did better when Quinn was less involved?
    Much like someone said about McCarthy and Rogers, it’s the Olayers in Seattle and Dallas that he walked into and the high powered offense of Atlanta’s SB year that we ever heard of the slogan-master.

  18. First off, McCarthy should be fired for this. Secondly, Dak is absolutely horrible. And thirdly, screw Jerry, he’s ultimately responsible for this clown show. How do you stop being a fan of a team you’ve spent your whole life cheering for (asking for a friend)

  19. McCarthy can’t complain about more time. They kept getting seconds added on the 49ers last possession. They added a few seconds to leave 1:04 and then because the play was stopped to measure, they “reset” the play clock to 25 seconds when it was originally at 29, being wound down from the 35 second play clock. And, I’m sorry, but the first down marker the 49ers needed to get was exactly in the middle of the yard marker. They showed as much when they measured at first. To say that they “needed” to move the ball and then “remeasure” when they knew very well where they moved the ball would negate the 1st down(which I don’t know how they could respot BEFORE the line to gain) was a complete dismissal of any responsibility. Dallas was given extra chances and I’m surprised they actually ended the game…as they should have…

  20. Excuses, excuses, excuses…As no surprise the Cowboys make it to the playoffs again and then proceed to do what the Cowboys normally do every time. Gotta love dem Cowboys!

  21. I am not trying to be dramatic or over exaggerating when I say that McCarthy’s clock management probably cost the Packers a second Super Bowl during his tenure as head coach.

    And apparently the play calling confoundment has rubbed off on his coordinators.

  22. Bad play calling. Penalties. Average quarterback play. Below average run game. The Cowboys should thank their lucky stars they even had an opportunity at the end. Niners better avoid those lulls when they play Green Bay.

  23. McCarthy is just not a very good coach. If he didn’t luck into Aaron Rodgers, no one would know who he is.

    Remember that time, with the 49ers, where they chose Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers.

    That was awesome!

  24. I don’t know where Dallas goes from here. They consistently underachieve. Now there is talk that Jerry wants Kellen Moore to be the next HC. I don’t think that is a good idea. Do you really want to promote someone who consistently shows the inability to game plan? Every good team they played this year, it was the offense that started slow and committed too many penalties. That is NOT what you want in charge of your entire team.

  25. ESPN is reporting that even Joe Judge wouldn’t have called that play. Not enough time to get a Hoagie.

  26. After the review that moved the ball 4″ like Romo was advocating for when The ball was clearly at the far side of the hash happened I thought they would put time on the clock as well. That would have set up their chance to call a PI in the end zone.

  27. McCarthy’s own words, ‘The train has left the station,’ will come back to haunt him when he gets his walking papers.

  28. It wasn’t a smart call. I was shocked when the ref came crashing in like that. The ref inserted himself into the game way too much. He did it earlier when he caused a delay of game.

  29. Cowboys haven’t played in an NFC Championship game since 1995. As much as the league and the networks try, this franchise is irrelevant when it comes to being a legit contender. Only other teams with such an NFC title game drought? Detroit and Washington.

    You are the company you keep.

  30. They had already put extra time on the clock for Dallas after the 49ers first down was taken away, 40 seconds instead of 38. Bad execution of the play by Prescott.

  31. Glad the haters enjoyed but seriously, most of you know nothing at all about the game. Dallas lost for two reasons. Undisciplined play AND once again, their stars failed to show up. Championship teams win when their big dogs play their best in big games. Dallas has plenty talent and none of them made big plays today. None. Personally I’m done with MCCarthy. Their O line is just not very good.

  32. There was more than one funny issue with the game clock and play clock in the last minute or so of this game. Go back and watch. Niners are lucky they were allowed to win in the end because Dallas sure got help.

  33. The fix is in… 15 penalties against the cowboys.. missed calls on the 9ers, refs screwed up the clock a few times. The fix is in Mike.

  34. Remember when the media blamed Aaron Rodgers for Mike McCarthy getting fired? Then blamed him for Winston Moss getting fired, after publicly blaming Aaron Rodgers too? The problem wasn’t Rodgers…or even Ted Thompson. Everyone should’ve learned that after Rodgers broke his collarbone twice. Now Cowboys fans are learning it too late.

  35. Well said. Why, with a 2nd and 1 at the Niner 41, 14 seconds left, and no timeouts, was a quarterback sneak even called? Why didn’t Prescott immediately give the ball to a game official? That’s football 101, particularly in close games. Why did McCarthy even call that play? The officials are blameless here. The only thing left is to see who pays for this incompetence.

  36. richndc is right on. Dallas’ so-called stars demonstrate season after season that they are unable to raise their game to the level of the competition. Zeke is done. Dak is who he’s always been: dominant against inferior competition and not good enough against playoff-caliber teams. The only difference this year is that he is dramatically overpaid. Playing in the NFC East allows the Cowboys to fool everyone into thinking that because they can beat a hobbled Philly team and a hobbled WFT that they can compete with good teams. They can’t. Fire McCarthy. Don’t fire McCarthy. It doesn’t matter.

  37. For all of the smartest folks in sports. Both Lame from Baltimore and Dakota from Dallas have won the same number of playoff games as Kirk Cousins.

  38. With 14 seconds left and no timeouts,why would you call a play that keeps the clock running? That was just ONE mistake by Dallas. There were plenty more made to account for this loss,but that play call was mind boggling. McCarthy claims that it was the right call to make. Umm…okay?

  39. Without Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy is a below average head coach

    WITH Aaron Rodgers he was a below average head coach.

    People just weren’t paying attention.

  40. When the Cowboys hired McCarthy, I suspected he wasn’t going to be the difference maker they hoped. He always seemed very ordinary in GB. The Cowboys have so much talent on both sides of the ball and they were pretty healthy this year. It was set up pretty well for them this postseason. Missed opportunity.

  41. Btw..didn’t the refs mess it up in Dallas favor after that long spot review? It was 1:12 left at the whistle and 40 secs on the play clock..and then it was reset to 1:04 and 25 sec..where did those 8 secs go?But I might have missed something rules wise.

  42. Know what else is funny? Romo probably thinks he did a great job in the booth tonight, too.

  43. The past decade, Green Bay found the most dramatic ways to lose a playoff game. Several times. McCarthy was a part of every one of those losses. I don’t miss him at all. Today he somehow managed to one up himself on how to lose a playoff game

  44. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    January 16, 2022 at 9:29 pm
    Without Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy is a below average head coach

    And without Rodgers LeFluer is lucky to be a 8-9 HC, so what’s your point?

  45. McCarthy also needs to speak on his team’s llack of discipline which was a consistent theme this season. Stupid penalties in key situations had a hand in this loss too. Why McCarthy was acting like a rookie HC tonight is puzzling.

  46. richndc says:
    January 16, 2022 at 9:40 pm
    Glad the haters enjoyed but seriously, most of you know nothing at all about the game. Dallas lost for two reasons. Undisciplined play AND once again, their stars failed to show up. Championship teams win when their big dogs play their best in big games. Dallas has plenty talent and none of them made big plays today. None. Personally I’m done with MCCarthy. Their O line is just not very good.
    Are you also going to tell us that the 49ers were spotted the 23 points?

  47. It should be noted that the former head coach of the Cowpies, The Clapper, would not have called that play. He would have punted.

  48. Pats fans still hurting from the Bills butt whipping … but that play made me laugh a little bit

  49. Welcome to the world of Mike McCarthy, incompetent football coach, who was blessed with two hall of fame QB’s yet took (or preferred) Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 draft when he was part of the SF braintrust. MM lacks accountability, looks to the sky for excuses, and usually abandons the run game too early forcing his team to be one dimensional. Good riddance MM, our gain is Dallas’ loss.
    Seeing MM on the sideline today with the words “Inspire Change” inscribed on the sideline, I thought a smartass Cowboy fan would add, “…..fire McCarthy!” Enjoy Jerry!!!

  50. To echo some of the other comments here, it was an incredibly foolish play call. I would have had no problem with the play if it would have been called on the previous play, as Dak is a good runner and the play had an excellent chance of racking up a lot of yards. But to call that play with so little time left was incredibly stupid.

  51. Dallas has no one to blame but themselves. No coach in their right mind calls that play. There is no upside. A slightly shorter hail mary after a spike? Just take two endzone shots and see what happens. TD, penalty, or Int, you live with those outcomes, much easier than this offseason is going to be.

  52. Oh my goodness…I have been watching football for over 40 years and I bear Mike McCarthy no ill will — but to call that quarterback draw with 14 seconds left and no time outs was so clearly a critical mistake, as it left simply too thin of a margin for error. Why on earth gamble on being able;e to spike the ball with a second or two left one the clock, when, alternatively, you have a near certain chance to try two pass plays into the end zone? I can think of no justification for this call.

  53. It will be a long time before Dallas lives this one down. It’s right up there with the Romo flub of the field goal snap.

  54. Terrible play call that could have been bailed out by decent execution but these are the Cowboys. It wasn’t only that play – let’s not forget about 14 penalties, missed reads by Dak, o-line getting outsmarted, et al. It would have been an injustice to NFL fans had the Cowboys managed to win and advance. The curse on this team has endured for 25 years and it’s not going anywhere soon.

  55. That’s your excuse for a loss. I expected the league to bail me out. Nice. After a comment like I’m looking for a new HC. I’m also going to sit down with the rest of my organization and start devising a plan to get out from under some bad contracts like Prescott, Elliot and Lawrence. Also going to jettison the part time player Gregory. They have some serious serious personal issues.

  56. Guess I don’t get the controversy. Your gonna assume that Dak was going to complete a pass? He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn all day. My opinion is they would have been better off just heaving it up 2-3 times from the 40 and having one of thier very talented wideouts make a play

  57. Dak should have checked the physical condition of the back judge first to be sure he could sprint up to the line to spot the ball quicker. Lol.

  58. Why would McCarthy think that??? Prescott is a veteran QB and should know the rules by now, the umpire needs to spot the ball not the players.

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