Mike McCarthy blames Dak Prescott for final play against 49ers?
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has maintained that the final play the team ran in their loss to the San Francisco 49ers was the right one, but he has since shared some interesting new information about it.
McCarthy spoke with reporters on Wednesday about Dak Prescott’s infamous quarterback draw. He said the Cowboys called a pass play but Prescott changed it to a run. McCarthy said he agreed with the decision from Prescott.
Mike McCarthy said the threshold to run either a draw or quick throw was :13 seconds. Dak Prescott checked out of the throw to a draw. McCarthy said it was the right call. MM said Prescott did the right thing by handing the ball to his center.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 19, 2022
One report this week claimed offensive coordinator Kellen Moore called the draw play and McCarthy agreed. According to McCarthy, it was Prescott’s decision. Again, McCarthy insists he feels it was the right one.
It was somewhat surprising to hear McCarthy openly reveal that Prescott was responsible for the play. He then took things a step further, saying the one thing the QB should have done differently was get down after 10 yards.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the change they would make on the last play would be for Dak Prescott to stop at 10 yards.
He said giving the ball to the center rather than the officials was not the problem. That was done right.
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) January 19, 2022
The Cowboys got the ball trailing 23-17 with 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. They needed to go 80 yards for the winning touchdown, and they reached the San Francisco 41-yard line with three straight completions. They then ran the QB draw with no timeouts left. Prescott rushed for 17 yards and quickly handed the ball to his center. An official bumped into the lineman and was unable to spot the ball in time for a spike (video here).
McCarthy said Prescott was right to hand the ball to the center, as that is the way the Cowboys practice the play. Some say Dak should have given the ball to the official, but McCarthy noted that the center can spot the ball and just needs the official to touch it quickly afterword. That is technically true if the center puts the ball in the right spot, but that did not happen in this case. The official had to move the ball back, which took more time off the clock.
McCarthy also maintained that 13 seconds was the threshold for being able to run the draw play successfully and still having time for a spike. The Cowboys had 14 seconds when the ball was snapped. One former NFL quarterback has a different interpretation of the situation than McCarthy.
Very few people believe the Cowboys made the right decision, but McCarthy stood by it. He also opened Prescott up to a lot of scrutiny by revealing that Prescott checked out of a pass play and should have gotten down sooner. It’s unclear how Dak will feel about that.
Photo: Oct 3, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy on the field before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports