Mike McCarthy explains Cowboys’ questionable final play call
Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will be questioned for his final play call in the team’s Wild Card loss to San Francisco on Sunday. He maintains that the team was ready to execute it, however.
McCarthy controversially ran a quarterback draw from the 49ers’ 40-yard line with 14 seconds left and no timeouts in the fourth quarter, with Dallas in need of a touchdown to tie the game. Dak Prescott got 17 yards, but time ran out on the Cowboys before Prescott could spike the ball.
After the game, McCarthy said the Cowboys practiced the play on a weekly basis, and anticipated getting another snap. The coach added that he expected more time to be put on the clock after a review as well.
Mike McCarthy said the QB draw on final play with 14 seconds remaining is practiced each week and he was surprised they didn’t get another snap. He was told NY review was likely to put more time on the clock.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) January 17, 2022
In reality, McCarthy’s explanation demonstrates why the play call was so bad. In any event, an official must touch the ball to set it before there can be another snap. Prescott essentially blew by that rule, which burned vital seconds and made it much more difficult for referee Ramon George to do his job.
The Cowboys can practice the play all they want. The call simply involves far too many variables that they could not account for in a game situation, such as whether the officials and the defense can set up quickly enough. That is simply too much risk for a play that was never going to give the Cowboys the reward they needed.
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