For the second straight postseason, the Cowboys lost to the 49ers. For the second consecutive postseason, the game ended with a questionable offensive decision by coach Mike McCarthy, an expert on offense. But the curious effort to put together a Stanford band-style piece that never even got started won’t have serious consequences for the man who designed it.
Asked by reporters after the 19-12 loss if the result changes anything for owner Jerry Jones about McCarthy’s status, Jones replied: “No. No. Not at all.
Last year’s loss to the 49ers ended in a quarterback draw that was meant to give Dallas one last realistic shot in the end zone. But the execution failed to take into account that the referee had to run through the quarterback and center in order to place the ball before it was broken and pinned, apparently to stop the clock with at least one second to play.
This year, instead of a Hail Mary (which had a very slim chance of succeeding given the game started 76 yards from paydirt), McCarthy had a unique formation aimed at sparking a parade of full-backs, with the running back Ezekiel Elliott serving as center and then presumably one of the men to get the ball as part of a chain of hot potato throws.
But Zeke was blasted and receiver KaVontae Turpin was tackled almost immediately, before a single full-back could be attempted. So no matter what it looked like on the whiteboard, it was a disaster on the pitch.
Beyond the design and execution of the end game, the failure of training and attention to detail appeared twice on record, with tight end Dalton Schultz failing to get out correctly out of bounds after making a hold, then going out of bounds a bit too quickly. , before putting his second foot after getting a reception.
Yes, it’s on the player when mistakes like that happen. It is also the job of the coaching staff to hammer these details into players’ brains to ensure that, when it all matters most, whatever needs to happen goes like clockwork.
Either way, from what Jones said after the game, McCarthy will be back for a fourth season as Cowboys coach.
The thing about Jerry Jones is that he will completely, totally and unconditionally support a player or a coach until the moment he doesn’t. And that moment can, in theory, happen at any time.