Hell Mary! Who's to Blame for One of the Most Discombulated Plays in the History of the Dallas Cowboys?
As he tends to do, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett got too cute. Felix Jones touches the ball only 10 times. In the Red Zone the Cowboys try a halfback pass with Marion Barber. On special teams David Buehler misses what should have been a very makeable field goal. And, of course, there's Alex Barron.
But to me this was always going to be an ugly, defensive game with points at a premium. Giving away a touchdown at the end of the first half was a product of a combined comedy of errors you won't see on a Class 2A field anywhere in Texas on any Friday night.
Yes, it was that stupid. But who, I ask you, gets fitted for the biggest dunce cap?
Trailing only 3-0 and with the ball at their own 37 with four seconds remaining in the half, conventional wisdown - much less hindsight - says take a knee and go to the locker room.
Allow the mistakes to commence:
JASON GARRETT - What are the odds of Tony Romo throwing the ball 65 yards in the air? Even if he does it, what are the odds of his Hail Mary/jump ball/clusterfuck ending up in a touchdown. It's the end of the half, so it's all or nothing. With a great defense and a patchwork offensive line and a low-scoring game, the reward wasn't worth the risk. It would be like a baseball team locked in a pitcher's duel trying to steal home with the pitcher going from the stretch.
WADE PHILLIPS - I don't want to hear him second-guess the call, because he - as the friggin' head coach - has the authority (even the mandate) to censor the play before it unfolds.
TONY ROMO - One of his strengths again shows up as his greatest weakness. The ad-libbing talent of the quarterback short-circuited his common sense on the play. As soon as he felt pressure and was forced to scramble, he should've killed the play. Fall down. Throw it out of bounds. Anything but a silly, wild-ass pitch to Tashard Choice. I know Romo makes more positives than negatives when he keeps plays alive, but - what? - Choice was going take a pitch and run 65 yards for a score?
TASHARD CHOICE - If he doesn't fumble, all the above are off the hook and I think we're talking about an ugly win and the 1-0 Cowboys today. Ultimately, he gets the most blame.