After an immensely heartbreaking game where our Dallas Cowboys Macgruber’d a defeat out of the hands of victory, there is a huge pity-party; in attendance is Cowboys Nation. This needs to stop. Fingers are pointing, blame is being placed, and the person who has been most instrumental in the turn around of the attitude for the Cowboys Organization is taking a lot of unwarranted heat for the wrong reason.
Our Cowboys played horrible this game. There were several mistakes made throughout the game that were more crucial to our defeat than a “good” timeout. And yes, I do believe that Jason Garret’s timeout was well placed. Jason Garrett doesn’t do anything without a reason and a strong backing of evidence. This loss changes only our W-L record, and doesn’t affect our playoff status, or our standing in the NFC East (thanks to the still undefeated Packers), and it could have possibly lit the fire under these Cowboys to start playing to their full potential.
More on why Garret’s timeout was a good timeout after the break…
I’m going to give credit where credit is due. I was not a believer in icing the kicker, because it seemed to rarely work. The authors of ‘Freakanomics’ took a look at “icing” the kicker for us and showed us how it really works (or doesn’t).
Disclaimer: this is not my work, I do not own this video or post below it, and I am using it for pure informational purposes and for the convenience of my viewers. This work is owned by the NFL and Freakonomics and possibly other organizations which I nor The Landry Hat are a part of.
To break it down, even though it’s a very small sample size (those mathematicians out there can appreciate the application of statistics) and it’s not statistically relevant, we will use what is available. The data available shows that when kickers are iced on kicks of 49 + yards, they are twice as accurate. Imagine you have your Head Coach Hat on, your huge laminated playlist, and this evidence that shows your rookie, Dan “The Man” Bailey, is going to be twice as accurate on a game winning 49 yard field goal if he’s iced; do you call the timeout? Hell yes you do. Icing your own kicker gives you the best chance, according to limited evidence to leave the desert with a W.
I propose that we place the blame on a different culprit: Orlando Scandrick. His contract looked like a bargain at the beginning of the year for how well he had played, but right now it’s looking about as bad as the contracts given to Leonard Davis, Marc Columbo and Marion Barber. Dez Bryant had a brilliant return in what seemed to me a “turning-point” game for him, and got the Cowboys all the way down the the Cardinals 25 yard line. This, of course, was all negated by Orlando’s illegal block in the back. He can argue with the refs all he wants, but if you don’t touch the player, you won’t be flagged. It doesn’t matter if you actively blocked him, or just brushed him slightly; you touched him, you got flagged for it, and I place blame on you for ruining that awesome return.
Or perhaps we can place the blame on the offensive line and rookie call up Shaun Chapas. Romo’s ribs are probably hurting a little bit because of all the hits he took yesterday. Arizona does not have an amazing pass rush; but the offensive line allowed them to penetrate early and often and it doesn’t seem like Romo was ever able to get into a rhythm. Arizona also is not amazing against the run, but they held DeMarco Murray to 38 yards and made him seem human.
The blame can be put any number of places. But the truth is, the Cowboys played a terrible game. Offense scored the 2nd lowest total points all season (only 7 points against Philly). The defense played well throughout the entire game, except when it counted, and let Stevens-Howling scamper down the the field for the game winning TD. We didn’t lose the turnover battle, and Matt McBriar had the best game an NFL punter has ever had, holding the dangerous rookie return specialist, Patrick Peterson, to only 1 total return yard. But, the offense could not get it done. Although the loss was disheartening, gut wrenching, and brings up bad memories of a broken pinky, a fractured foot, and a missed extra point by a linebacker playing kicker; we are still in sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East with no major injuries. Lets thank our lucky Stars that Green Bay took care of business, and concentrate on next week; when it really counts.