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Why the Cowboys were entirely at fault when time ran out on them

1/17/2022 12:26:55 PM
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In the final play of the Dallas Cowboys 23-17 loss to the 49ers, the clock ran out as the Dak Prescott attempted to snap the ball from the 49ers' 24-yard line on the final play of the game.  Referee Alex Kemp declared the game over, even after the snap was delayed for umpire Ramon George to adjust the spot.

Kemp and George did their jobs. With 14 seconds remaining, Prescott ran for 17 yards on a designed draw. Usually in that situation, NFL players are advised to hand the ball directly to the umpire or another official to expedite spotting of the ball, Kevin Seifert of reports. By rule, there can't be a snap until an official has touched the ball to confirm and/or adjust the spot.

Instead, Prescott handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz, who put the ball on the ground at about the 24-yard line and stood over it as the rest of the Cowboys' offense assembled. George had to push through their line to get to the ball, using valuable seconds. The snap came with one second remaining, rendering Prescott's spike meaningless.

This was entirely the fault of the Cowboys, from the risky play call with no timeouts remaining to Prescott's inability to find an official to give the ball. Kemp and his crew did exactly what they would be expected to do.

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