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Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy declines to elaborate on bizarre final play in loss to 49ers

Jan
23
1/23/2023 1:25:24 PM
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The stage was set for one final play from the Dallas Cowboys, who made myriad errors down the stretch Sunday but still had a shot to make things interesting in their Divisional Round game against the San Francisco 49ers. And as far as formations go, this one held some intrigue, Eric Edholm of NFL.com reports.

Dallas trailed by seven at its own 24-yard line, thanks to some rather poor execution in the final minutes. The Cowboys came out in a fascinating formation with zero offensive linemen in their normal spots and running back Ezekiel Elliott ready to hike the ball to Dak Prescott, catching everyone's attention.

But after the ball was snapped, the play quickly ended with a resounding thud. As did the Cowboys' season with a 19-12 loss to the second-seeded 49ers, who move on to face the Eagles next Sunday.

"It didn't get going," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said of the ill-fated gadget play.

The Cowboys walked out with their offensive linemen lined up wide, while Elliott made his first NFL snap at center (in what could have been his final snap as a Cowboy, strangely).

Despite the long odds and 76 yards to go, the play appeared to have the makings of some real innovation. So what did Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have in his bag of tricks? Well, this time the rabbit didn't come out of the hat the way it was supposed to.

Prescott dropped back and quickly unloaded the ball to KaVontae Turpin -- more on him in a minute -- who was hit almost immediately. It clearly was a shock to Turpin, who fell to the ground immediately. Whatever magic the Cowboys were trying to invoke, we might never know.

"I really don't want to get into detail on it, but that obviously wasn't the plan," McCarthy said. "It's obviously a gadget play or whatever to end it. It's the last-play-situation call we practice."

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