Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Mike McCarthy forgot he doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers on terrible third down call

The Dallas Cowboys were never going to catch the Philadelphia Eagles for the top spot in the NFC, and their head coach made sure of it on Sunday.

On Sunday in Jacksonville against an improving Jaguars team that still has a losing record, the Cowboys’ M&M combo went for it when neither needed to.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy’s go-for-it attitude worked a bit more when his quarterback was Aaron Rodgers. The plan is a bit more unreliable when your quarterback is good but not a Hall of Famer.

Mikey Mike’s decision to approve a long pass attempt on a third down play late in the Cowboys’ game in Jacksonville is not the reason they lost, but it’s close.

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore should be thrown into the hell pit of second guessing, too.

The mighty Cowboys led the Jaguars 27-10 with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter.

The mighty Cowboys lost the Jaguars 40-34 in overtime.

Maybe booking 25 hotel rooms in Phoenix for the Super Bowl wasn’t the best idea.

In these trying times, we need to find a bright spot. It’s the holidays. At least the Cowboys aren’t the Colts, and Mike McCarthy is an upgrade over Jeff Saturday.

After that game, that’s all I got.

The Jaguars are improving, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence is beginning to play a legit No. 1 overall draft pick, but those are still both terrible excuses for why the Cowboys lost.

With 1:20 remaining in the game, the Cowboys faced a 3rd-and-10 from their own 38-yard line.

That’s when Mike McCarthy put on his Batman outfit, and Kellen Moore dressed as Robin.

On that third down play, Prescott attempted a pass deep down the left side for receiver Noah Brown, who had single coverage by defensive back Darious Williams.

The play didn’t have much of a chance of succeeding. It was a low-percentage pass during a point in the game where the priority was clock drainage over the first down.

The Cowboys achieved neither, and the incomplete pass allowed the Jags to keep their final timeout.

That timeout allowed the Jags to stop the clock on their game-tying drive after Lawrence completed a 19-yard pass to receiver Zay Jones with five seconds remaining.

Jags kicker Riley Patterson hit a 48-yard field goal as time to expired to send a game that should have been a blowout into overtime.

The Jaguars’ offense did nothing on its opening possession, but won the game as safety Rayshawn Jenkins returned an interception 52 yards for a walk-off touchdown.

The pass was off the hands of receiver Noah Brown. Had he caught it, it would have been a Cowboys’ first down at midfield.

There are no less than a dozen other major plays to explain how the Cowboys pulled a Colts on Sunday, but this third down incompletion stands out above the rest.

McCarthy told reporters after the loss that they made that call because he was trying to win the game.

McCarthy’s reputation is “to go for it,” and more often than not a coach should be commended for trying to win a game rather than playing not to lose.

Sunday was not one of those times. There are those moments when boring is better.

With three games remaining, the Cowboys are still going to make the playoffs and should be considered a threat in the NFC.

Even had they defeated the Jaguars, the Cowboys are not going to catch the Eagles, who have the best record in the NFL at 13-1.

In each of the last three weeks the Cowboys have had moments of truly terrible in games against three ish AFC South teams:

On Dec. 4, the Cowboys led the 4-9-1 Colts at home 21-19 early in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys won 54-19.

On Dec. 11, the Cowboys trailed the 1-11-1 Texans late in the fourth quarter; the Cowboys scored a touchdown in the final minute to win, 27-23.

On Dec. 18, the Cowboys led the 5-8 Jaguars by 17 points in the third quarter.

Playing bad teams close got ‘em for the second time this season.

Since Prescott returned from his injury on Oct. 23, the Cowboys are 6-2.

Both of those losses came on the road where the Cowboys had double-digit second half leads against teams with losing records; both ended in overtime.

Just like that OT loss in Green Bay, the Cowboys had no business losing in Jacksonville.

Plenty of blame to go ‘round.

Coach Mike McCarthy, just go with boring next time.



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