The biggest thing Cowboys fans were upset about after Sunday's loss wasn't really the 23-0 deficit in the second quarter or the six turnovers – and four interceptions by Tony Romo.
All of those things were relatively handled and the Cowboys still had a legitimate chance to win the game.
But the turning point at the end was not picking up that crucial first down at the Giants' 19. It was second-and-1 after a nine-yard catch by Jason Witten, who had 36 receptions on the day. Ok, it was only 18 but it felt like even more.
But on second-and-1 with 1:23 to play, I can totally understand another pass. Second-and-1 is typically a good down to throw in any juncture of the game, so I'm fine with that call. It was an out route to Witten, who couldn't haul this one and ended up crushing a sideline guy from Fox.
Now it's third down and this is where the first down has to be important than anything else. You have three timeouts and really, what's the hurry? You want to hurry up and score and give the ball back to Eli Manning again?
I like the formation to spread things out, but I'm giving a run to Felix, or Tanner or even Romo on a quarterback sneak. And if you just MUST pass the ball, let's go to a guy that actually has done something in the game.
At that point, three different receivers had over 100 yards – that's the first time since 1963 that has occurred with the Cowboys. So you've got options – Witten, Dez or Miles. But no, you force it to Ogletree down the sideline on Prince Amukamara, who couldn't check Bryant or Austin all day. Maybe there could've been a pass interference call but Ogletree isn't getting that call right there. They almost gave it to him, but waved it off.
I just don't understand the play call. When has Ogletree went up and snatched a ball like that, ever?
The thing that gets me more than anything is how much this organization seems to worry about numbers and statistics around here. We've got analysts on the payroll now that work on stats and trends and play the percentages, very similar to what you see in the movie *Money Ball. *
But yet, when it comes to the came … it's third-and-1 and then fourth-and-1 and you go against the percentages and pass it? And pass it to Ogletree of all people.
But looking at the play on film, there was only six defenders in the box. That's hardly a formation where you can't get a yard. Sure, the team struggled to run all day – getting only 19 yards on 17 attempts. But guess what, that sorry 1.1 yard average still gets you the first down in that scenario.
Hey, it's Monday coming off a loss. This is what we do. We second-guess plays and drives and all that.
So in a wild and crazy game that had many ups and downs, there's really no other place to point to then that sequence right there.