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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

Jerry Jones defends Mike McCarthy’s decision to not challenge key catch

Jerry Jones

Mike McCarthy committed a major blunder in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants that may have cost the Dallas Cowboys the game, but his boss was apparently pleased with the decision.

The Cowboys were trailing 20-19 late in the fourth quarter when they came up with a big sack on second down to push the Giants out of field goal range. Daniel Jones then completed a pass to Dante Pettis on 3rd-and-16 to get New York back into field goal range, but replays appeared to show Pettis trapped the ball against the ground. McCarthy chose not to challenge.

During his appearance on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday, Jones indicated that he would have handled the situation the same way McCarthy did.

“My initial reaction was that it’s difficult to get these things overturned,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I was concerned about using the timeout as well.”

There’s no way you can argue the risk of losing a timeout outweighed the potential reward. Had the ruling of a completed catch been overturned, the Giants would have been pushed out of field goal range. They then likely would have punted, and the Cowboys would have had the ball trailing 20-19 rather than 24-19. Dallas would have only needed a field goal to win the game, which could have made a huge difference in their approach. Instead, Andy Dalton had to press and ended up throwing an interception in the end zone.

You can see the video of the controversial catch here.

It makes sense that Jones is standing by McCarthy, but there’s no question that was a major mistake. Pettis’ catch was questionable at best, and the play was too important to not throw the red challenge flag.

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