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Cowboys 2-Minute Drill Faltered Under Faulty Clock Managment

For the first time since 2015, the dropped a game to the while dropping a game and a half out of first place in the in the process. , , and the Cowboys had a chance to tie the game, but missed a 52 yard field goal, which would have sent the game into overtime.

While the missed kick is what prevented them from tying the game, what happened leading up to the field goal attempt had just as much to do with the Cowboys taking home an L as anything else. And no, I'm not talking about the enforced on .

The Dallas Cowboys had enough time to try to drive the field for either a game-tying field goal or if things fell right, a go ahead touchdown. Once they got into field goal range, they took the foot off the gas and eliminated any opportunity to try to take the lead.

Let's look at how the drive unfolded.

1st and 10 at Dallas 36 – 1:09 to Play

Incomplete Pass to Dalton Schultz

The Dallas Cowboys got the ball back with a time out and a little more than a minute to play. It's beyond my understanding why the Dallas Cowboys had on the field with under two minutes to play in a game that was essentially a must win.

I know that the Dallas Cowboys love to run 11 personnel in obvious passing situations. It's all the craze in the NFL now. Like Pogs were in middle school. I get that most teams run 11 as their base package, but when you're in a must score situation with under two minutes to play, Dalton Schultz is not one of your best four receiving options.

They lined up , , and along with Schultz when they could have had out there to give them some run after catch ability.

It's inexcusable to me to have a rookie , who was suiting up for his first NFL game, on the field in crunch time because you don't have any 10-personnel packages (1 RB, 4 WR, 0 TE). is calling plays and constructing formations like they still have on the team. News flash, Scott, you don't.

You'd think that at a time when they need their best playmakers on the field, that they'd have some packages that would get their four best receiving options on the field.

2nd and 10 at Dallas 36 – 1:04

Incompete Pass to Cole Beasley

At least Dak Prescott goes to his go-to-guy on this play as he goes to Beasley and barely overthrows him. It wasn't the best throw by Prescott who was under pressure. Had he hit Beasley, there's a great chance for yards after catch.

3rd and 10 at Dallas 36 – 0:59

18 Yard Completion to Cole Beasley

After back to back incomplete passes to start the drive, Dak Prescott finds Cole Beasley for an 18 yard gain to get the Cowboys into Washington territory.

Cowboys 2-Minute Drill Faltered Under Faulty Clock Managment

This was the biggest play of the drive. Big time, accurate throw to Beasley who makes a contested catch in double coverage that picks up a first down and puts the Cowboys just outside of field goal range.

1st and 10 at Washington 46 – 0:52

Nine Yard Completion to Cole Beasley

Because Cole Beasley got out-of-bounds and Washington Redskins Corner Back was injured, the clock stops and the Dallas Cowboys get a moment to catch their breath and the next couple of plays.

If you needed anymore evidence about who is Dak's go-to-guy, it's Cole Beasley. He comes right back to him. Prescott finds Cole Beasley for a nine yard gain to get the Dallas Cowboys into field goal range.

Cole Beasley catches the ball and is ruled down by contact with 45 seconds remaining in the game. How in the world it took them 17 seconds to get to the line of scrimmage is really hard to understand. As a team, if the receiver gets tackled in bounds, you know you have to hurry to the line of scrimmage to either get another play off or to spike it. The Cowboys take their time and prevent themselves from being able to run at least a play or two to get them a more favorable field goal attempt.

Instead, the Cowboys take 17 precious seconds of the clock and now have less than 30 seconds remaining.

2nd and 1 at Washington 37 – 0:28

Six Yard Completion to Cole Beasley

This is where you figured out that Jason Garrett was playing for the tie. The Cowboys were able to pick up the first down on a quick pass to Cole Beasley, but then took way too much time getting to the line of scrimmage for the next play.

After Cole Beasley makes the catch and is tackled, there was roughly 24 seconds left on the clock. They took another 12 seconds to get to the line of scrimmage to run the next play. They weren't prepared and because they weren't prepared, they didn't have a ton of time left to run a play. If they get to the line faster, perhaps they leave themselves more time to get the ball up field to make Brett Maher's kick more manageable.

The catch went under review and so the Cowboys get yet another opportunity to regroup and come up with a play to get them further down the field.

Instead they do the following.

1st and 10 at Washington 31 – 0:12

Three Yard Run by Ezekiel Elliott

This is the biggest give up play of the night. With 12 seconds left and a timeout, the takes the ball out of their 's hands — who just drove them into field goal range — and they give it to who picks up roughly three yards on the play. They had time to throw a short pass to try to pick up some yardage. With a timeout in their pocket, Dak could have even thrown it to the middle of the field to get Brett Maher into a better position.

Instead, the staff plays scared and leaves Maher with a 47 yard field goal attempt. On a day where the wind had been a factor in the , 47 yards is hardly a gimme.

2nd and 8 at Washington 28 – 0:03

Five Yard Penalty Against L.P. Ladouceur for a Snap Infraction

The penalty puts them at the Washington 33 with three seconds left in the game.

There are a lot of things we can say about the missed game-tying field goal attempt.

Though the penalty was bogus and Brett Maher should have made it, the biggest issue, in my humble , was how the drive went to get to this point. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff didn't put their team in the best position to win the game, let alone tie.

Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and the Dallas Cowboys were super conservative once they got into field goal range. It was like they didn't even consider trying to score a touchdown at that point, which for someone who has long been a defender of Jason Garret, is a problem.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

I've long been a believer that Jason Garrett is a head coach that could win this team a championship based on the way he gets his players to play. On Sunday, however, he coached like an NHL coach that was on the road and just hoping to squeeze out a point with a tie. That's twice in two weeks that Garrett played conservatively with a chance to win the game and he cost his a chance at a shorter, more makeable field goal. Play aggressively and it's possible he's kicking at worst a 45 yarder, even after the penalty.

Instead, Maher has to kick a 52 yarder with swirling winds and is unable to squeeze it inside the left upright. Now the Dallas Cowboys are 3-4 and need to go on a serious run over the last nine games to have a shot at making the .

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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David L. Dillard

It is just amazing how shallow you writers are who write this non-sense! Your either plan uneducated in football, or you just enjoy creating drama writing lies. Either way, it is unbelievable reading such rediculous drama articles! Tony memntioned the clock, then stopped himself…why? Well, because Tony was trying his best to not throw Dak under the bus anymore then Dak has already placed himself there. Had Tony been the QB Jason would have had him clock the ball and taken a shot. However, with Dak, and his lack of ability and accuracy, Jason just did what he had to do and run the ball to set the field goal try. You can try and dramatize Jason all you like, but the truth is Dak is horrible and Jason and Linehan do not trust him…point blank! Now if you writers really desired to write the truth, that is waht you write. Like I said, your either into writing lies and drama, or unknowledgable about football….go figure…

Stuart Brereton

Disagree with your assessment, Dak IS the quarterback of the team, so if the coaches don’t trust him, why bother play him, makes no sense. He was the one that got them to the position they were in, so why then couldn’t they trust him to make a play to the end zone…after all he had led them on a scoring drive on the previous possession.
I agree that Dak has his faults, like any other quarterback, but I disagree with placing all the blame on him for the issues on offense. He has the worst receiving corps in the NFL, plus an offensive line that’s not nearly as good as it was, and an OC, who calls the most predictable game in the league. How is he supposed to be great, given the hand he’s dealt with?


No, no he’s not. It’s amazing that when things weren’t going well it was all Romo’s fault……..and now when they’re not going well suddenly it’s all these other problems but not Dak’s? Yeah that’s not how it works. He’s a bus driver, not a thinker…….he’s not the guy.

Travis Diggs

I guess we forgot about all the poor clock management moments over the years with Romo too. As long as Jason Garrett is the coach I don’t ever see a super bowl in our future

Joe Conti

In reality Dak lost this game. Trusted him with thr ball near the goalline and what happens he carries it like a loaf of bread and gifts the Foreskins 7 points. You want to trust him to take a shot when the line has a propensity to let pressure in obvious passing downs where he could be sacked OUT of FG RANGE? Yea Garrett is easy to blame for hiring Linehan or letting him not call plays to Dak’s strenghts


Well the ONE constant since the puppet has been here is that he will cost this team at least 2 losses a season because he STILL continues making the same mistakes over and over.

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