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The difference between Jason Garrett and Sean McVay in game-on-the-line situations is very large

Aren’t the Cowboys like the Rams, though?

Dallas Cowboys v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Not even two weeks ago Jerry Jones got a little hot and bothered during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan.

The dispute began in reference to Jerry Jones comparing his Dallas Cowboys to the Los Angeles Rams that were fresh off a dominating offensive performance the night before on Thursday Night Football. Most found it ridiculous that Jerry would compare the Cowboys to the Rams in an offensive light because, well, they couldn’t be further apart these days.

Maybe you think Dallas and Los Angeles are similar, hey everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. On the first Sunday in October the two teams found themselves in similar situations and would you believe that they handled them differently? Let’s discuss.

We all know about Jason Garrett’s decision to punt in overtime

The most flagrant decision of this young season arrived in extra time in Houston when Jason Garrett elected to punt on 4th and 1 from the Texans 42-yard line. It’s not like he has a top-tier offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott or anything, to be fair.

Garrett explained this himself in the postgame and on 105.3 Monday morning. He noted that the plan behind it was to get a stop, because it was a “long one” of a yard, and play defense so the Cowboys could kick the game-winner themselves. Well that plan clearly changes everything, right?

“Yeah, it was a long one [yard],” the Cowboys coach told reporters. “You know, we had a third-and-2 and we didn’t make much on it and we just felt like at that point in the game, the way our defense was playing, the idea was to pin them down there. Chris [Jones] did a great job with the punt. They got the ball on the 10-yard line and hopefully you make a stop and you win the game coming back the other way with a game-winning field goal.”

Nobody is void of the mindset Dallas had when they chose to punt. The idea of getting the ball back so they could win themselves is apparent to football novices. What people have an issue with is that the plan to punt at all was the one chosen. It was conservative football at its finest.

Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams acted the exact opposite of Jason Garrett just hours before

There’s no question that Sean McVay is regarded as the most innovative mind underneath an NFL headset these days. That’s what made it so interesting that Jerry Jones would liken the Cowboys to them. You get it.

LA had a tough game in Seattle on Sunday that stood between them and a perfect 5-0 record. To the Seahawks credit they didn’t give up the division they’ve dominated for almost a decade easily, they made the Rams work for it in a battle of a game.

The Rams had a lead late and faced a fourth down themselves. Behind it stood the ability to set themselves up in victory formation, but not getting it meant that Seattle would have a chance at a potential go-ahead field goal. The down and distance was a little shorter than the Cowboys’ game, but the Rams were at their own 42-yard line, not the opponent’s like Dallas. And Todd Gurley had just been stuffed on a third-and-1. Sound familiar? Of course the Rams also had the ability to punt to give their all-world defense an advantage of their own, but Los Angeles kept control in their own hands.

On the bus to the airport Sunday evening, McVay explained the call to go for it thusly: “I think the biggest thing was this: Our offensive linemen had the confidence to be able to get those six inches. I thought Jared [Goff] did an excellent job of mixing up his cadence a little bit, and I felt like he could catch them off guard. We attack success. We don’t fear failure. We want to go for the win in that situation. Getting six inches to close it out was something that we felt the percentages were in our favor.”

The Rams went for it. The Rams got it. The Rams are a very different team than the Cowboys.

In no way was the decision to punt the correct one, and it cost the Cowboys

Comparing how the Cowboys and Rams each handled this situation in your own mind can be tricky work, so take a look at the visual for yourself.

Dallas is at the bottom of the barrel across the NFL when it comes to the ability to make these big-time decisions. Is it fear? Is it self-doubt? At this point whatever it is, it needs to go.

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