Jerry Jones second-guesses late clock management

Arlington -- There was next-to-no celebration when the Cowboys took a late lead against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Sunday afternoon. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clapped three times with a look of utter concern in his owner's box.

He knew.

When asked if one minute and 13 seconds was too much time left he couldn't even let the reporter finish the question, "Yes," he said. "I think we all did."

Everyone knew because Cowboys fans have lived through this nightmarish movie with Rodgers playing the gridiron monster before. His laser to set up the game-winning field goal in last year's NFC Divisional playoff game is seared into the brain of every die-hard Cowboys fan.

The Cowboys offense did so much, and although it may not be fair, Jerry would have loved for them to do more in terms of running out the clock.

On second down from the Packers 11 with 1:24 left, if the Cowboys would have run the ball instead of throwing an incompletion, they could have at the very least forced Green Bay to use a valuable timeout.

If not, assuming the Cowboys scored on the following play, the clock could have run down to about 45 seconds. As it was, they ran two plays and only ran :11 off the game clock. Going the ground route in that instance would have made Rodgers job significantly tougher.

"What we wanted was keep the ball away from him," Jones said, referring to Rodgers, "obviously we needed to score a touchdown, and we'll be second-guessing those last two calls, and I know you will, as well, for a long time."

That left Rodgers with 1:13 and a timeout, may as well have been an eternity. In short order, Jones and every Cowboys fan's fears were realized.

Rodgers lead a surgical march downfield that including three passes of 10-plus yards and an 18-yard scramble highlighting his seemingly magical ability to escape the pocket.
Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving had a shot at Rodgers on the play and was nearly at a loss for words we can use on TV.

"Can i use the "F" word," he said immediately saying he was just kidding. "It's really hard. He's awesome at what he does. It takes everybody to stop one guy."

And that one guy once again, did in the Cowboys, throwing a dart of a touchdown pass to Devonte Adams with 11 seconds left in the game.

"It was as fade," said Cowboys rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who was covering on the play, "just tried to go out there make a play on the ball, just got my head around late. He threw it exactly where it had and he caught the ball, so, great play."

For the second straight week, the Cowboys score 30 points, but still can't figure out a way to win. They've got a lot of young players on the defensive side of the ball. With the bye week up next, they'll have a couple weeks to stew on what turned out to be a big missed opportunity.

"We have to execute in critical moments," said linebacker Jaylon Smith, "we have to be great.

"Whenever you lose it sucks. You've got to get better."

Especially when you're playing one of the best.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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