Losses by the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons on Sunday left their owners perturbed and perplexed.
After Sunday night’s 19-16 overtime loss to the Houston Texans, Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones second-guessed coach Jason Garrett’s decision to punt with 5:30 left in overtime and a fourth and 1 on the Texans’ 42-yard-line.
“We were being outplayed. It’s time for risks at that particular time,” Jones said.
Garrett said it was fourth and too long of a yard to go to take the chance.
“Yeah, it was a long one,” he said after the game. “You know, we had a 3rd-and-2 and we didn’t make much on it and we just felt like at that point in the game, the way our defense was playing, the idea was to pin them down there.”
The Cowboys (2-3) accomplished that, forcing the Texans to start their next possession on their own 10-yard line. But the Cowboys’ defense couldn’t make a stop until it was too late. Quarterback Deshaun Watson took his team 72 yards down the field on eight plays, leaving kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn to connect on a 36-yard field goal attempt to end the game.
Quarterback Dak Prescott defended his coach.
“In that case you don’t question the coach’s decision,” Prescott said. “The defense had been playing good all night. They kept us in the game for a bunch of the game, from the second quarter. In the fourth quarter they gave us a chance all day long.”
In Atlanta, the owner is equally unhappy. Arthur Blank had harsh words after the Falcons’ 41-17 road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that dropped the Falcons to 1-4.
“Are you kidding me?” Blank said when asked about the season, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We can’t erase the last five games,” Blank said. “We have to make adjustments. That’s all you can do. Start out next week and act like it’s 0-0. Nobody wants to hear any excuses. Nobody wants to hear any stories. That’s the nature of this business.”
Coach Dan Quinn could try to make an excuse, though, for the slow start by the Falcons, who were a Super Bowl pick by many to start the year. Their defense has been decimated by injuries, with middle linebacker Deion Jones and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen on injured reserve.
“The answers are within our own locker room, to play like we’re capable of playing,” Quinn said.