Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/4/11
Jason Garrett's conservative-but-cute game management costthe Cowboys at a critical moment Sunday. Confidently burning too much time, then taking an unnecessary timeout, led to a19-13 overtime loss to the Cardinals. Garrett has proven to be a frustratingly conservative play-caller at times thisseason. He's also gotten "too cute" in potential game-winningsituations with calls that at best seem odd and at worse are risky. He was all of that in the final 30 seconds of regulation in Arizona. After quarterback Tony Romo fired a 15-yard strike to Dez Bryant for a firstdown at the Arizona 31, the Cowboys could have stopped the clock with at least24 seconds left. They had two timeouts. It's pretty simple. Use your first timeout to get your team lined up for atleast one more play to make it a more reasonable field goal. With the ball at the 31, kicker Dan Bailey's try was from 49 yards. It doesn'tmatter that Bailey had made one from 50 in the second quarter. Any kickapproaching 50 yards is a gamble, even for the best NFL kickers. There's a bigdifference between a 49-yarder and a 42-yarder. Afterwards, Garrett said they felt they were in comfortable field-goal rangeusing guidelines from before the game. This typically means they gauged whereBailey was making kicks from in pregame warm-ups. Remember, the game was played on a natural surface that had been chopped up forfour quarters. The conditions in warm-ups were not the same as they werethree-and-a-half hours later. But instead of using one of two timeouts, the Cowboys elected to line up and"clock" the ball spiking it to stop the clock with seven secondsleft. Garrett said he felt comfortable having the ball at the 30, but it was actuallyat the 31. Because it was a long-range kick, Bailey apparently spotted the balla yard deeper than the normal seven yards from the line of scrimmage.In other words, this was no gimme kick. Garrett also said he was concerned the Cowboys might lose yards if they tryanother play. He is correct. We've seen it many times when a team tries to "center"a ball for a game-winning field goal and ends up making it a longer kick. So that's why you throw the ball. An incompletion puts the ball back at the 31.Even if you lose yardage, you have time to run another playand get the yardage back. Most teams can squeeze three plays into 24 seconds. Garrett has been guilty of calling for the ball to be pitched backwards onplays when every yard counts remember San Francisco? What Garrett might have been thinking is that he didn't want Romo to put theball in the air and risk a catastrophic turnover. Garrett certainly thoughtthat at New England. But that was taken out of the equation when Garrett chose to let the clock runand spike it with seven seconds left. That should have given the field-goalunit plenty of time to line up for the kick. Except someone on the Cowboyssideline got antsy and Garrett called a timeout just before the snap. The ball was snapped anyway and Bailey sent a low missile through the uprights.In effect, the Cowboys "iced" their own kicker bycalling a timeout to let him think about it. The timeout probably didn't affectBailey as much as the "practice kick" did. Seeing how the ball stayedlow likely affected Bailey's approach to his next kick. When play resumed, Bailey's official 49-yard try had much better height butit also fell achingly short of the crossbar. At that point, the Cowboys were done. One could argue that the questionableclock management wasn't what lost the game, since the Cowboys still had achance to win in overtime. But body language and actions said the game was loston the missed field goal. The players had seen this before, especially seen it in Arizona where theCowboys have now lost seven of their last eight games, often with bizarrefinishes. The Cardinals received the ball in overtime and didn't take long to score thegame-winning touchdown against a rather lifeless Cowboys defense. Of course, the Cowboys should not have allowed the game to come down to a49-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds. But because they didn't usetheir time wisely at that point, we've all got plenty of time to second guess. Follow KeithWhitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker