The Last 3 in SF

A few things happened at the end of the SF game that drove me crazy. Are you feeling my pain?

1. 2:56, 2nd & 10 from our own 18. Dak takes a deep shot to Gallup. Misfires for an incomplete. I'm fine with taking the shot. Fortune favors the bold etc. Hate the throw but not the decision. Remember this boldness 2 plays later.

2. 2:50, 3rd & 10. Dak looks, move, looks and takes the sack. No timeout. Clock is ticking. Dak needs to get the ball out and stop the clock. Time is our biggest enemy.

3. 2:05, 4th & 10. Punt. 45 seconds elapsed. First, losing 45 seconds severely limited our options when we got the ball back later. Second, many articles have already been posted that the best analytics option was to go for it. Whose cowardly decision was it to punt?, considering we'd most likely get the ball back in the exact spot, but with 50 seconds left and not timeouts .. if lucky.

Like it or not, we pay Dak to make these do or die plays. Either he (or someone) would fail again, or he was due to make a play. If we fail, we go down swinging, like warriors. If we fail to try ... well you know the saying ... you miss all of the shots you don't take.

4. :45 Turpin fair catches at the 6. Why? Realistically, we aren't going 94 yards, let alone 99, Risking some seconds and yards to start from the 20 was the right play.

5: :45, 1st & 10 from the 6. No timeouts. Dink pass incomplete to Shultz for zero, losing 7 seconds. No one should be running this route in this situation. At this point there is only time for chunk plays, with pass interference being our best hope. I put this on Dak for wasting time. He is not a hero for following timid orders from MM or KM.

6.:38 Same play. Gain of 9. 5 seconds. At what point was Dak going to man up and seriously challenge the defense? At best, we complete a few of these and get the ball to midfield with time for 1 hail mary throw. At near worst ... , Shultz makes the catch but can't get out of bounds.

7. :33. Same play. Shultz makes the catch but can't get out of bounds. 19 seconds lost. Or also worst case ...

8.:10 Same play. Shultz lazily can't get his feet down. 15 yards negated. It's easy to blame Shultz but maybe he knew the analytics better ... he shouldn't be running these routes, unless for decoy affect.

9: Final play from Dallas 24. This ain't Disney.

The bottom line is a coaching team (and Dak) that loses its nerve and sanity in pressure moments in the biggest games. But at the end of the day I put the blame on Dak. He's got the ball in his hands, the iron-clad contract and the so-called desire to win. Take the shot and at least a DPI is a possibility (see Cowboys-Steelers SB 1979, we got jobbed).

If you compare to last year, we started with :32 at our own 20 and got to the SF 41 with 14 seconds left (the main play being the hook and ladder). Then Dak took off running for 17 yards, running out the clock at the end. This year we had 13 more seconds, 14 more yards and no hook and ladder, to get to the same spot.

The lesson to be learned is that life gives you go for broke moments. No matter how much you want to control your situation, you will be challenged to use all your skill just to give luck a chance. No one wants to rely on luck, but our lack of ability put us in that situation at the end. Our coaches and Dak need to man up and realize the consequence of failure is literally a big time throw and a hail Mary. As we saw in 1975, fortune favors the bold and God favors the faithful. The end of this SF game showed none of both.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.