Each football season has a handful of moments that when you look back on it as a whole, made or break you.
Hopefully for the Dallas Cowboys their final offensive possession against the Green Bay Packers (the real possession not that crazy play that came close to almost working) isn’t one of them. That sequence of plays has been and will continue to be debated ad nauseam, but we have a new perspective to add to the mix.
Brice Butler was a guest on the latest episode of the Dave Dameshek Football Program and discussed what was going on in that moment. Ike Taylor, former Pittsburgh Steeler and now NFL Network analyst, was also in on the discussion.
Dameshek: The thing that everybody said in the moment and then after the game on Sunday was, “Left too much time on the clock!” Is that something that comes up in the huddle?
Brice: Nah. When you’re down and you’re losing, you’re like we need to score, or we’re gonna lose the game. And there was never a time in the huddle where I’m looking at Dez like, “hey man let’s make sure if you catch a ball at the 1, you’re just gonna stand there for 10 seconds, and run the clock out.” You’re just trying to score. So yea last night I got asked questions about, “Why did y’all decide to throw the ball on 2nd down?”.
Ike Taylor: Cause I’m trying to score!
Brice: But it was like one of those situations where it was a run-pass option, and he saw a good matchup on the outside, and we scored on it earlier. So Dak is like, “hey let me give my big dog a shot at catching the go-ahead touchdown.”
You can see the rest of the conversation in my tweet, above.
Brice reiterates what most people feel, that the primary objective in the moment was to score, and to score alone. He makes a great point that had the team tried to get cute with the timing of it all and failed, well they’d be getting criticism of a different kind.
As great as Aaron Rodgers is, has been, and probably ever will be, from what the players all said post-game and what we’ve continued to hear, the Cowboys trusted their defense in that moment.
Now to be totally fair, Jerry Jones did say in the game’s immediate aftermath that they all felt 1:13 was too much time to leave on the clock, but Ike Taylor makes a great point in that the Cowboys offense held the ball for over eight minutes (8:43 to be precise).
One could definitely make the argument that given the way the current Dallas Cowboys are constructed overall, that even a feat of this magnitude offensively isn’t enough (because it clearly wasn’t). Arguing that any given defense should be expected to live up to this task is fair, though. This is the NFL after all. The Cowboys had one objective on the final drive, to score a touchdown. Without doing that, nothing else would have mattered anyway.