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#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Jason Garrett takes responsibility for bizarre Tavon Austin fair catch

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is taking responsibility for a strange decision in the final 30 seconds of Sunday’s game that may have cost his team.

Down 28-24 to the Minnesota Vikings with under 30 seconds left, punt returner Tavon Austin bizarrely called for a fair catch at his own 46. Austin did this in spite of the fact that there were no Vikings players within 15 yards of him, and he could likely have gotten past midfield, if not further, had he tried to return the punt. That would have set up an easier drive for quarterback Dak Prescott.

After the game, Austin essentially threw the coaching staff under the bus.

On Monday, Garrett took the blame, saying they’d poorly communicated to Austin what he was supposed to do on the punt.

In fairness to Garrett, Austin called fair catch early, so it’s entirely possible the Vikings would have closed him down more quickly if they thought there was a chance of a return. Still, it’s an awful look, and a clear sign of confusion in the ranks. And it’s probably not going to make owner Jerry Jones happy, since he already had some grave concerns about what the defeat could mean in the long-term.


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