(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys won Week 17 in controversial fashion, but could have won much earlier in the game had quarterback Dak Prescott not thrown an incomplete pass with 1:55 left in the game to effectively give the Detroit Lions a free timeout.
The Cowboys hit a field goal to go up by seven points, but the extra time gave the Lions more chances to tie or win the game, which they almost did before a failed two-point conversion.
A lot of the blame landed on Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy for bad clock management, but Prescott admitted the decision to throw the ball was his own.
“That’s on me honestly,” Prescott said. “I’ve got to do a better job on that one. That’s where we were talking about the roller coaster of emotions. That’s one where I put our team in that situation throwing that ball there. That’s one I promise you that will keep me up at night, tonight for sure.”
Why did the Cowboys pass second and 14 late? Here is Mike McCarthy’s explanation and Dak Prescott taking the blame for the decision to go deep to Brandin Cooks. He knew he missed an easier completion to Jake Ferguson. pic.twitter.com/5dPdvGrFsK
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) December 31, 2023
Prescott’s decision was one that could have sealed the win for Dallas, but instead opened up the chance for Detroit to come back and tie or win the game.
Fortunately for Dallas, the decision didn’t end in a loss after the defense came up with a big stop on the two-point try.
But things could have ended very differently had the Lions not been called for illegal touching on an earlier attempt – something that has become a major talking point in the NFL after Detroit players and coaches claimed the player who was called for the penalty actually reported as an eligible receiver before he caught the would-be game-winning pass.
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