Trailing 6-13 with less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter on the road in New England, the Cowboys were buried deep in their own territory last week, needing touchdown to tie the game.
The Cowboys came out with three receivers bunched to the right and one receiver spread out wide to the left.
Amari Cooper motioned out of the bunch and across the formation. Stephon Gilmore followed him, revealing man coverage.
That left Randall Cobb as the widest receiver on the right side of the formation.
He ran a deep dig route across the formation and Dak Prescott delivered a beautiful 15-yard pass. Cobb cut up field and turned it into a huge gain.
But let’s take a step back. How did this big play happen?
Cobb caught the ball between Devin McCourty and J.C. Jackson, but as Cooper’s motion revealed, the Patriots were in man coverage and neither of those players was in locked up on Cobb.
Jonathan Jones was assigned to Cobb, but as Cobb crossed to the left side of the formation, Cooper crossed to the right, covered tightly by Gilmore. Jones ran into Gilmore which allowed Cobb gain separation.
McCourty was lined up in the deep middle, but dropped into the hole. Reading Prescott’s eyes, McCourty flowed with Cobb’s route, but he is not close enough to make a play on the ball.
Jackson was covering Michael Gallup, and came off of him when the ball was thrown, but he was not able to break on Cobb quickly enough. Jones, Jackson, and McCourty all pursued Cobb down the field and eventually brought him down at the 25-yard line.
This was a huge play for the Cowboys on a night when both offenses struggled to move the ball. It took them from the shadow of their own endzone to scoring position, but unfortunately they had to settle for a field goal.
This play gave them an opportunity to tie the game up and is this week’s play of the game.