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Mike McCarthy defends QB draw play: 'Shouldn't have had problem getting ball spotted'

1/17/2022 3:58:37 PM
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A once promising season for the Dallas Cowboys ended in chaotic fashion Sunday after a 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild-card game at AT&T Stadium.

To secure the win, the 49ers had to withstand a final-second comeback that saw the Cowboys reach the San Francisco 41-yard line with 14 seconds to play and at least seemingly in position to throw a final pass to the end zone to conjure up memories of Roger Staubach's Hail Mary to Drew Pearson in the 1975 playoffs.

It never happened.

With 14 seconds left and no timeouts, Prescott ran 17 yards on a quarterback draw, but the ball was not spotted quickly enough for Dallas to spike it before time expired.

Prescott thought he should have had a chance for a final throw to the end zone. Coach Mike McCarthy thought there would be a review from New York. Both defended the final playcall despite the risk of having the game end the way it did, Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports.

According to referee Alex Kemp, there were no mistakes on their part.

"The umpire spotted the ball correctly," Kemp said in a pool report.

Umpire Ramon George was trailing the play when Prescott took off and collided with the quarterback before placing down the ball. Prescott said he saw four seconds on the clock when he got behind center Tyler Biadasz. He said he saw two seconds on the clock after colliding with George.

"He collided with the players as he was setting the ball because he was moving it to the proper spot," Kemp said.

That time proved to be the end of the Cowboys' chances for an improbable comeback.

"The execution between us and the official spotting the ball obviously wasn't in tune," McCarthy said. "We shouldn't have had any problem getting the ball spotted there."

McCarthy defended offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's decision to call the run, even with no timeouts. He said he was "shocked" the Cowboys didn't get a last-play opportunity. The Cowboys call those situations "church clock" situations, and they practice them each week.

"Do you want to be running a Hail Mary play from the 50-yard line or do you want to run five verticals form the 25-yard line?" McCarthy said. "So, that's the decision, it's the right decision."

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