ARLINGTON, Texas – Well, that's not the Jason Garrett we're used to seeing.
Long criticized for his even-keeled demeanor, the Cowboys' head coach let some sparks fly during the the third quarter of a frustrating loss – to the point that he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"Obviously, I didn't handle that situation as well as I should have," he said.
Let's set the scene a little bit. The Cowboys were driving in the final second of the third quarter, trailing 31-10. Given the amount of miscues he had watched to that point, it's understandable if Garrett was frustrated.
Facing 1st-and-10 from the Dallas 30-yard line, Dak Prescott uncorked a long ball down the Cowboys' sideline, who hauled in an outstanding toe-drag catch for 27 yards. Unfortunately, the officials saw it differently and ruled the ball incomplete – much to the chagrin of Garrett, who saw it play out right in front of him.
"Obviously, on that play we had a great view of it and they called it an incompletion," Garrett said. "It was such a big play in the game, you know you have to use your flag there."
Garrett had already used a challenge flag earlier in the game on a questionable defensive pass interference call on Anthony Brown. He knew that the Cooper catch would be his last challenge of the game – a fact that clearly frustrated him, given that he had seen it so clearly.
"I knew we would get the play, because I saw it," Garrett said. "Unfortunately, we had to use the flag there."
Obviously, Garrett made his displeasure known. He not only spiked the red challenge flag in front of the referees, but he shared some choice words with them – a fact that head official Ron Torbert made known in a pool report.
"All I can tell you is there was abusive language toward an official," Torbert said. "That's all I'm prepared to tell you."
That information didn't appear to move Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones when he was asked for his opinion following the game."
Oh, I hope the little darlin' didn't hear something he hadn't heard before," Jones said. "We should all have stopped the wheel over there if he got upset over abusive language."
The flag didn't appear to set the offense back too much. On the very next snap, Prescott found Ezekiel Elliott for 26 yards on a wheel route.
And as surprising as it might have been for the viewing audience, it probably didn't strike Garrett's players quite the same way.
"We've got our coach's back," Prescott said. "I don't want to say too much on that. That's a guy being passionate about his team, passionate about the play."