Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is not second guessing Dak Prescott‘s run up the middle at the end of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, although he is acknowledging that the play could have been executed better.
McCarthy said Prescott running up the middle, sliding, then getting up for a spike was a good call.
“So, it’s the right call,” McCarthy said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “The situation is right off the call sheet. So, that part’s right. The part we got to talk about as a staff and had a chance to visit with Dak about it and speaking with officiating last night, is the mechanics, our mechanics matching their mechanics. I’m not going to get into their mechanics. But as far as the draw play, the execution, the only thing Dak and I talked about was put a yard limit on it.”
McCarthy said the only thing he wishes Prescott had done differently was slide after a shorter gain. Prescott gained 17 yards on his run, but McCarthy said sliding a little sooner would have given the Cowboys the extra second they needed to get set, spike the ball and still have time for one more play.
“Cut it to 10 yards,” McCarthy said. “That’s probably going to be the change, the adjustment we make.”
But calling a quarterback run up the middle with no timeouts left, no matter how much yardage the quarterback gains, is a risky proposition. Something can always go wrong with the clock running, and all it takes is one of the 11 offensive players on the field not getting lined up properly for the offensive team not to be able to stop the clock and run another play.
That’s why a passing play, either into the end zone or to the sideline, would have made more sense. If the Cowboys had passed to the end zone or the sideline, they almost certainly would have had time for one more play after that. McCarthy is standing by the call, but that doesn’t mean it was the right call.