The overtime loss the Dallas Cowboys suffered to the Arizona Cardinals will be memorable for a faux pas Jason Garrett was presumed to have made. Garrett called a timeout nullifying a successful field goal attempt by rookie kicker Dan Bailey. The commentators reiterated this point ad nauseum.
However, it is this writer’s belief that Jason Garrett finally demonstrated the ability to develop a unique strategy and provided his kicker a mulligan shot, if needed. It is evident that Garrett intended on calling a timeout. This was not a situation where there were 12 men on the field nor was his team out of position. Garrett used the current rules to initiate a timeout and once the whistle was blown, the long snapper snapped the ball. This allowed for Bailey to take a practice swing without consequence.
As in golf, if a ball travels off target, corrections are made on the next shot. The first kick was true and Bailey looked to recreate the “shot” on the second kick. And as any golfer will tell you, if you hit it fat or thin, the ball simply will not travel as far. The kick was short and while it may have been headed to the left upright, a full kick would have been between the uprights.
The Dallas Cowboys did not have an offensive possession in overtime as the Cardinal offense drove the field for a game ending touchdown. Bailey may have had an off game, having missed a kick and hit an upright earlier in the game. However, it was remarkable strategy by Garrett and the player on the field simply failed to recreate perfection. Garrett will likely be vilified, but once you look past the superficial, we finally can see the Ivy League graduate we believed we were getting.