Arik Armstead regrets missed safety on Dak Prescott

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
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The Cowboys had one last chance last night against the 49ers, down seven points and 94 yards from a touchdown, with 45 seconds to play.

The effort left much to be desired. It nearly left even less.

On the first play, quarterback Dak Prescott received the shotgun snap at the one, rolled right, started into his throwing motion, and then took a hit from 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead. Prescott bounced away, ran toward the line of scrimmage, and threw an incomplete pass.

After the game, Armstead explained why he pulled up before hitting Dak.

“I wasn’t trying to get a penalty,” Armstead said. “I should have just smacked him.”

On Monday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan addressed Armstead’s chance to end the game then and there with a safety.

“I think he thought Dak was going to throw it, so I think he was going in there with the mindset to get his hands up to try to tip it and then Dak didn’t and it caught him off guard and then he was afraid the position he was in, he was about to hit him high and get a penalty,” Shanahan said. “When you’re approaching a quarterback, it’s so hard for these guys to hit in that target area and not get a penalty that you really have to approach it the right way. . . . He didn’t want to get that 15-yard penalty. . . . Once I watched the tape, I can totally see why it happened and that’s just kind of the challenges these guys have.”

It’s a difficult spot for any defender, balancing the inherent aggression of football with the urgency to protect the most important players on the field. If Armstead had indeed “smacked” Dak, the Cowboys may have ended up with a first at 10 at the 21, only 79 yards from the end zone.

9 responses to “Arik Armstead regrets missed safety on Dak Prescott

  1. Smart thinking on his part. Because I could see the refs giving him a penalty and the next thing you know they are at the 30.

  2. A very smart play by Armstead, being aware of the situation. A safety there would certainly have ended the game, but a penalty would have given the Cowboys a sliver of a chance. Armstead was right to be sure Prescott couldn’t get a pass away at that point. He significantly reduced the already small chance of a comeback.

  3. This explanation helps a lot because watching it live I couldn’t tell what froze him exactly. I thought it was a for sure safety until he applied the brakes.

  4. It would have been great to end the game with a safety, but then we would have been robbed of seeing Zeke line up at center and get laid out like church clothes on Sunday. Thanks for thinking of us fans Arik!

  5. That great run before the 2-minute-warning by Elijah Mitchell could have been smarter had he stayed in bound.

  6. Stupid stupid play. Wrap up bear hug drive him into the ground penalty or not, knock him out of the game.

  7. Dak was out of the pocket with the ball and a defensive player bumps him and lets him by and somehow this is considered a smart play. How about making a tackle like happen on 60% of the time.

  8. Defenders must be stupid or playing along.
    If they have a clean shot at the QB, hit him hard and square above the knees and don’t spear him.
    If you jump offside, run at the QB and get the unabated penalty rather than the free bomb.
    These simple ideas haven’t happened over many years, and QBs keep getting tricky tack 15vyatd penalties and free boms.
    Inexplicable.

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