Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett throws some passes in warm-ups before the game
The latest crisis of the Jason Garrett administration has us thinking about you and how you’re coping.
Do you still believe in Jason Garrett?
There were 21 consecutive questions to start Monday’s news conference regarding Garrett’s decision-making at the end of regulation against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
What’s interesting is Garrett didn’t know how to answer two key questions:
1. He didn’t know if he told Tony Romo to spike the ball sooner after Dez Bryant’s reception with 26 seconds to play.
2. He didn’t know what to say when asked about special teams coach Joe DeCamillis yelling at him on the sidelines after Bryant’s catch.
Why didn’t he answer these questions?
Maybe he told Romo to spike the ball, but for whatever reason the quarterback didn’t do it. With Garrett saying he didn’t know what he remembers from that moment, it could mean he’s protecting his quarterback and putting all the blame on himself. Garrett did say he didn’t know how to answer the question and upon review, Romo is telling his teammates to spike the ball after so much time has gone by.
If Romo was told to spike the ball sooner and didn’t, that’s another issue that probably won’t be addressed.
As for the second point, maybe DeCamillis didn’t know Garrett told Romo to spike the ball sooner, or the head coach was ignoring his special teams coordinator because he wanted more time to run off the clock.
With the play clock under 10, DeCamillis and kicking coach Chris Boniol pleaded with Garrett to call time, which he did. Garrett said the three of them were on the same page then. Maybe they weren’t seconds earlier when DeCamillis wanted the timeout.
It is interesting Garrett didn’t believe in the running game at that point, as evident by just three run plays being called in the entire fourth quarter. DeMarco Murray did get 11 yards on two carries, and Romo is credited with a fumble on the other. But it seemed the old Jason Garrett returned in that fourth quarter.
In a tie game, Garrett called for eight pass plays from the 13:00 mark until 2:54 remained in the game. That’s eight passes in two possessions. Garrett should have run the ball more.
You can’t fault him for passing the ball in the final three minutes, but Garrett made the offense one-dimensional when he didn’t need to.
Garrett, in case you forget, is a rookie coach, and he did salvage something of the 2010 season, which prompted Jerry Jones to hire him full-time. This season he’s made his mistakes — the pitch to an injured Miles Austin in the San Francisco game, get someone else other than Romo to hold when Mat McBriar was hurt, keeping Tashard Choice around too long, and the failures of the return game are on his watch.
Garrett has a running back he believes in now and he’s contained Romo’s late game mistakes. He’s allowed Rob Ryan to do whatever is necessary on defense. For the most part, he has believers in the team.
Cornerback Frank Walker was saying the entire team believed in Dan Bailey’s abilities to make that 49-yard kick because he’s made clutch kicks so many times this season.
In the Cowboys locker room after the game Sunday, Romo patted Bailey on the back at his locker and offered words of encouragement. Jay Ratliff said Bailey didn’t cost the Cowboys the game.
It seems this team is ready to move forward from the loss.
Garrett is too.
But do you believe in him going forward?
The Boys Are Back media spotlight: Calvin Watkins
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He’s covered the Dallas Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports. A native New Yorker, Watkins lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children.
Dallas Cowboys fullback Tony Fiammetta has been cleared and will practice Wednesday and play Sunday, he said. Fiammetta missed three games with an unknown illness.
"It’s going to be awesome," Fiammetta said Monday. "I’ve been waiting for it. I feel great. It’s a good time to come back, big game, and I want to make a difference."
Fiammetta’s symptoms included nausea, dizziness and "an uneasy feeling kind of thing." He said his illness was never diagnosed.
The Cowboys moved rookie Shaun Chapas off the practice squad last week to have a true fullback on their roster for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. But they still struggled to run the ball. In the past three games, without Fiammetta, they have averaged 3.5 yards per carry and 92.3 yards per game.
In the six games Fiammetta has played, the Cowboys averaged 145.8 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry.
"You know he did a nice job for us when he was playing, so we’re certainly hopeful that he’ll come back and play to the level that he was playing at before," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We ran the ball well when he was playing true fullback for us and hopefully we can get that going again."
In regards to Chapas’ future on the 53-player roster, Garrett said the Cowboys are evaluating "a couple of different roster scenarios that we’ve been talking about already."
Garrett Press Conference: Monday
Jason Garrett speaks to the media and answers questions about his decision making in the final minute of regulation in Arizona.
Listen to the The Jerry Jones Show: Dec. 6, 2011
Jerry Jones speaks to The Fan out his Dallas Cowboys loss in Arizona.
Check out these other interesting videos:
Dan Bailey: Use It For Fuel – Dan Bailey talks about his two misses, including the potential game-winner in the final seconds of regulation.
Jerry Jones: Each Game Has A Fingerprint – Jerry Jones speaks about what happened in the final seconds of regulation.
DC.com Today: Postgame Report – Dallas Cowboys website bloggers on the field after the Cowboys loss in Arizona.
Test video below: If video does not play, click on link HERE
Mickey and Rob discuss the final minutes of the fourth quarter in yesterdays loss to the Cardinals and ask, who is to blame?
Note: This is nearly a one hour rebroadcast (:52 minutes)
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Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey and long snapper L.P. LaDouceur leave the field after the overtime loss
Here is a partial transcript of Jason Garrett’s answers on Monday to questions about the clock management at the end of the game against Arizona. The reporters’ questions are paraphrased.
Reporter: You said yesterday you would evaluate the end of the game. How do you evaluate the frantic final 26 seconds?
Garrett: “I think probably what I said yesterday, you can probably play that situation out one of two ways. You can say, hey, the yard line we feel good about kicking a field goal is the 35-yard line. That’s what we determined before the ball game. We got to the 30. We felt good about giving our kicker a chance to do that right there. You let the time go down to the appropriate time, you call a timeout, or in our case, we clocked it to give ourselves a chance to kick the game-winning field goal from there. The other way you can play it obviously is you take the timeout and you have whatever you have, high teens left in the game, and you run a play, maybe two plays, to get yourself a little bit closer and kick the same kind of a field goal.”
Reporter: So what made you choose the option you chose?
Garrett: “Oh, probably just the confidence level that we have in Dan Bailey. He’s been so good in those situations. He’s made four game-winning kicks for us in similar kind of situations, so the biggest thing that we were trying to do at that point was give him a chance to do that. He’s been so good. We’ve managed those situations in very similar fashion earlier in the year. If you remember in San Francisco, the first Washington game, the second Washington game and also against Miami, we just wanted to make sure he had an opportunity to kick the game winner and we gave him the chance to do that and, unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us.