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Mailbag: Why Did Cowboys Burn Their Timeouts So Early?

Posted Nov 5, 2012

KEITH AMADI
ARLINGTON, TX

Why did the Cowboys begin using their timeouts on a first down, and with 3:45 left in the game? The Falcons were at the Cowboys’ 45-yard line. Why not wait until the field got a little shorter or the clock became more of an issue?

Bryan: That is a great question and if Garrett was down double digits, I would have understood it better, but he wasn’t. Besides, his offense just had a scoring drive that took 2:28 off the clock. What really killed him was his defense wasn’t able to get that stop they needed on third down that would have given him a better shot in the game, but I do agree with you.
 
Rowan: To go back through the sequence of events, the first timeout was called after a third-and-6 completion to the Cowboys’ 45-yard line, and the second timeout was called after a two-yard run by Turner on first down at the 3:45 mark, as stated. I agree this was a strange time to burn the first two timeouts. I would’ve understood the timeout prior to the third-and-6 play, assuming the defense will make its first stop of the drive on third down. Burning the timeout on first down didn’t make sense to me with more than three and a half minutes remaining. The defense couldn’t make stops and were left without timeouts with three minutes left, allowing the Falcons to run down the clock late.
 
JACK NGUYEN
GRAND PRAIRIE, TX

Why don't the Cowboys play more no huddle? It seems that’s when Romo’s at his best.

Bryan: I just wrote about that no huddle drive on Upon Further Review. Hope you can check it out. I do agree about Romo and the way this type of attack is better suited for his game. If you have a player like Witten that can make the clutch catches to keep drives going it makes it a worth-while scheme to try and see if it creates more scoring opportunities. It was just not this game but others they have had some success with it.

Rowan: Whether the defenses are getting more conservative late in the game with a substantial lead or if Romo and the offense simply operate better in the no-huddle, that style seems to have worked well recently. The Cowboys’ only touchdown drive of the game featured a more fast-paced offense. With the running game in shambles, a quick tempo with quick throws could keep the defense more off balance.

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