Monson: Garrett Lowered Odds Of Winning By Kicking Field Goal

Jason Garrett's decision to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown was "extremely questionable," Sam Monson says

The DA Show
November 25, 2019 - 2:35 pm
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The Dallas Cowboys came up short in Foxboro on Sunday, falling to the New England Patriots 13-9. Jason Garrett’s decision to kick a late field goal – as opposed to trying to convert a 4th-and-7 from the Pats’ 11-yard line – loomed large in the loss.

“The decision to kick the field goal instead of going for a touchdown when they needed a touchdown to win late in the game was an extremely questionable decision by the numbers,” Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson said on The DA Show. “That essentially said goodbye to a six-percent chance of winning that game by electing to go for the points. So I think just a few different things worked against Dallas. They were in a consistent hole in terms of field position all game. This was an ugly game that was always going to be a low-scoring affair because of the driving wind and the rain, and on top of that, a bunch of things just happened to go against Dallas.”

Brett Maher kicked a 29-yard field goal to bring the Cowboys within 13-9 with just over six minutes to play. By the time the Cowboys got the ball back, however, it was 1st-and-10 from their own 8-yard line.

A few plays later, the game was over.

“The bottom line is you need a touchdown,” Monson said. “The field goal doesn’t really help you that much. You needed a score, and you’re unlikely to get a better position to get it than you were right there. So when you crunch all the numbers in terms of the situation, the down and distance, the field position, the time left on the clock – all those things – it’s just a statistically significantly better move to go for the touchdown there. Kicking the field goal, it just doesn’t change things that much.”

Dallas struggled offensively for much of the day, as Dak Prescott finished 19-of-33 for 212 yards and an interception, while Ezekiel Elliott carried 21 times for 86 yards and caught four balls for 40 yards.

“I think for the first time, Dak Prescott really didn’t have a good game,” Monson said. “All season long, the offense has kind of pivoted and it’s run more through Dak Prescott and the passing game than it has Ezekiel Elliott and the ground game. With the conditions in Foxboro, with the rain, the Cowboys basically set up to run this game back through Ezekiel Elliott again. Prescott didn’t have a particularly good game, and it’s just too easy to stop a team whose only intent is to run the ball and work through a running back.”

The Cowboys were whistled for a pair of tripping penalties, both of which, Monson says, were “extremely questionable.”

“There were six tripping calls total in the NFL heading into that game, and there were two yesterday,” Monson said. “And both of them looked (like) extremely dubious calls, and both put Dallas in a bit of a hole.”

The Cowboys (6-5), who have lost five of eight since their 3-0 start, host the Bills (8-3) on Thanksgiving at 4:30 p.m. ET.