Late in Sunday's battle with the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys were faced with a choice. Kick a field goal and close within four points or attempt to convert a fourth-and-seven near the goal line. Jason Garrett opted for the field goal, drawing considerable criticism, and has since explained his decision.
Speaking with reporters following the game, the embattled coach said that he considered the various scenarios and felt that taking three points was the best option despite seeing his team only reach the red zone twice during the game. If the Patriots added another late field goal, his offense would still have the opportunity to make one final drive and win the game in enemy territory.
"Just to give us a chance coming back the other way, fourth-and-7, you know, make it a four-point game," Garrett said, per the team website. "They go ahead and kick a field goal coming back, you still have a chance to be in the game. We would get it back with just under three, with a chance to go win it. So just felt good about that decision, at that time."
Ultimately, the Cowboys defense did stop the Patriots once more after the field goal, but this drive ended after a failed fourth-down conversion attempt. This failure to move down the field drew even more criticism from viewers given that the offense had struggled to move up and down the field all game.
Prior to kicking the field goal, the Cowboys had an opportunity to tie the game at 13. Prescott dropped back and threw a pass to tight end Blake Jarwin, who made the reception in the end zone. However, he was unable to get both of his feet down, causing the play to be incomplete. As Garrett explained, having a fourth-and-seven from the 11-yard line
"You consider all options, obviously in that situation," Garrett said. "When it went to fourth-and-7, became a little bit more of a not quite as manageable as you would like it to be in that situation to go for it."
Ultimately, taking the three points didn't pan out for the Cowboys, and now Garrett is dealing with the repercussions. He will continue to hear criticism about this team's ability to close out a tough opponent on the road, especially if they can not achieve this feat against the struggling Chicago Bears on Dec. 5.
(Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty)