CLOCK MANAGEMENT: Jason Garrett defends not taking timeout, then taking timeout

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey watches his kick sail through the goal post for three points at the end of the fourth quarter, however, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett had called a timeout.

Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey watches his kick sail through the goal post for three points at the end of the fourth quarter, however, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett had called a timeout.

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Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett decided not to take a timeout to try to get his kicker closer, though he had two left, and then chose to take a timeout before Dan Bailey’s field goal. Monday Morning Quarterbacks are sure to debate Garrett’s clock management in Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss to the Cardinals.

Dez Bryant caught a pass from Tony Romo for a first down at the Arizona 31-yard line with 26 seconds left in regulation in a 13-13 game. Instead of taking a timeout, the Cowboys had Romo spike the ball with seven seconds left to set up a potential game-winning, 49-yard field goal.

Garrett said it was their faith in Bailey, who has made four game-winners this season, including three on the final play, that prompted them to let the clock run down instead of attempting to get closer.

“We felt pretty good about where we were,” Garrett said. “Once you get to that 30-yard line, we felt that was a pretty good opportunity for us. You see every week: People get negative plays, so we felt once we got to that point, we could go ahead and give him a chance to get the game-winner.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, had criticized Garrett’s play calling after the 20-16 loss to the Patriots on Oct. 16, was testy when asked about why Dallas hadn’t used a timeout.

"The explanation was to let time run off the clock," Jones said. "I’m sure that’s what he gave you all. But we had an alternative. We could have run two, possibly three more plays there, but we have a lot of confidence in that kicker. It didn’t work. We all would have liked to have had 20 more yards. But that’s really speculating as to what we’d have done with the ball."

Bailey was short on the 49-yard attempt, which came after a timeout.

Bailey actually hit what many fans in the south end zone thought was the game-winner. But with the play clock running down, Garrett called a timeout before Bailey’s first attempt sailed through the goal posts.

Bailey took the blame for the miss, though Garrett will take heat for “icing” his own kicker.

"We felt like the play clock was running down," Garrett said. "We wanted to make sure he had a clean opportunity at it. It was at about six, and we were still getting settled in. So we banged the timeout to make sure we got the snap, hold and kick as clean as possible."

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