As often happens on a NFL Monday, the big story of Dallas' season-opening loss is the final play. Terrance Williams' game-ending decision not to get out of bounds but instead go for more yardage has been met with with plenty of outrage and bewilderment, but also some mild defense.
I thought I'd take a few minutes to dissect that play and see how defensible it was for Williams. You can use this video to follow along with the second-by-second breakdown:
Dallas Cowboys tried one last surge against the New York Giants, but it was to no avail in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Start your free trial of NFL Game Pass: https://www.nfl.com/gamepass?campaign=sp-nf-gd-ot-yt-3000342 Sign up for Fantasy Football!
00:12 - Ball is snapped from Cowboys 46-yard-line.
00:10 - Williams catches ball on Giants 48-yard line.
Assuming Terrance had run for the sideline and gained a few more yards, Dan Bailey would have had a shot from about 61-63 yards out. That's a good 5-7 yards more than his career long, but not outside of his range based on pregame warm-ups and other practice kicks.
Some have defended Williams based on this; Bailey's chances of making that kick were low and the receiver felt he had to try and make a play. There may be a smidge of merit to that idea, but there's just one problem.
There was time to run one more play.
Terrance Williams caught the ball near the sideline with 10 seconds left. He could have gotten out of bounds within about 2-3 seconds the most, leaving 8-7 seconds on the clock. It would have been about a 10-yard gain that took all of four or five seconds to run.
Dallas would have had time to try and get one more quick out to put Bailey in better range. They could have allowed to Dak Prescott to make another quick read and either throw to a receiver or just throw it out of bounds to let Bailey try the 60-yarder. Even if it took six seconds to run the play, Dallas would have had time to try it and put Bailey in a much better position.
Obviously, we have the power of a timed replay and hindsight to make this argument. It's hard to ask players to process all of that in the heat of the moment.
Williams' choice would be more defensible if he'd actually tried to go for the touchdown. He had the inside position to beat Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and could have tried to cut back outside and take the sideline to the endzone.
I doubt he makes it, but diving to end the play was the worst possible choice. It was a no-win scenario.
If you follow me on Twitter (@CowboysAddicts) then you know I'm not a big fan of Terrance Williams. I've seen him blow way more plays than he's made in three years and made plenty of jokes about it. In fact, he's blocked my account because of my "hater" status.
This isn't to pile on the guy. I feel horrible for him because I'm sure Terrance feels even more horribly. I don't think he was trying to play hero ball but just had a misguided sense of the circumstances and what he had to do to help the team win.
Ultimately, Dallas' porous run defense and settling for field goals over touchdowns played a much larger role in the loss. But make no mistake; the Cowboys still had a chance to win and Williams' took it off the table.
It was a tough way to start the year for the player, team, and the fans. Hopefully we're all happier next week in Washington.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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