The Dallas Cowboys opened the second half against the Arizona Cardinals in a fit of rage after digging themselves a 21-10 first half deficit.
The offense settled for a field goal on the first possession of the half, but getting points on the scoreboard was a must. The defense responded accordingly by drawing a punt. Exaclty what the doctor ordered.
Dak Prescott and Co. even overcame a holding penalty that negated a 51-yard KaVontae Turpin punt return to get back in the red zone.
The offense stalled again and Mike McCarthy was faced with a seemingly obvious decision on 4th and 4: kick the field goal to draw within six points, or go for six to potentially tie the game with a two-point conversion.
McCarhty elected to go for it, and Prescott's pass fell incomplete. Cowboys Twitter was not happy with the head coach's decision.
Cowboys fans didn't approve of Mike McCarthy's 4th down decision against the Cardinals
It's easy to question McCarthy's decision in the heat of the moment ... and just as easy to question several minutes removed. As Fox Sports' David Helman points out, given the state of the offensive line, the Cowboys should take points whenever available.
If you want to talk about going for it in the fourth quarter, be our guess. But that situation called for conservative coaching, not forcing the issue.
The momentum had swung in Dallas' favor and McCarthy likely tasted blood, but it was a rare great drive that needed to end in points, analytics be damned. It felt like a each on McCarthy's part and now an already-banged up offense still needs to overcame en eight-point deficit with less time on the clock.
We get trusting your defense and being aggressive as the superior team, but this was a poor display of game management from McCarthy.
Hopefully it doesn't come back to bite the Cowboys.