INGLEWOOD, Calif. — In an ideal world, Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t have settled for a game-winning area objective try from 56 yards by Greg Zuerlein within the last seconds towards the Los Angeles Chargers.
However a number of issues arose.
First, a participant went off the sector after Tony Pollard‘s 3-yard run to the Los Angeles 38 on second down with 33 seconds to play.
“One among our gamers got here off that should not have come off,” McCarthy mentioned. “Only a communication error.”
Then the clock McCarthy was eyeing on the digital board overhanging the SoFi Stadium area went out.
“I by no means had a clock go off the board like that,” McCarthy mentioned.
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was not in a greater place, both.
“He obtained blocked by a digital camera man,” McCarthy mentioned of Moore’s skill to see one of many field-level clocks.
As a substitute of utilizing the timeout early and probably leaving the Cowboys in a nasty scenario in the event that they ran a third-down play, McCarthy opted to let the clock run down with assistance from his assistant coaches from the coaches’ sales space and referred to as a timeout with 4 seconds to play.
“As soon as we did not have the personnel set for the third-down name we have been in between when you get beneath 17 seconds,” McCarthy mentioned. “It is a threshold, so we let it run down and take the kick.”
Zuerlein made it work by connecting on the longest game-winning area objective with no time left in regulation in franchise historical past, delivering the Cowboys a 20-17 victory 10 days after he missed a area objective attempt to a PAT try that value them within the 31-29 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers within the opener.
Dak Prescott was unaware of any clock points the coaches had till after Zuerlein’s kick.
“I wasn’t certain. I am wanting on the finish zone clock. I noticed the time,” the quarterback mentioned. “I simply thought we have been comfy and we’re good in area objective vary and that is what they wished to do.”
The comeback win was the 11th Prescott has delivered in his profession when the Cowboys have been tied or trailing within the fourth quarter. Whereas the efficiency was not significantly aesthetic, like when he wanted to throw for 182 yards within the fourth quarter of a 40-39 win towards the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 final yr, Prescott was environment friendly and deliberate.
Taking up with 3:49 to play after the Chargers tied the sport, Prescott accomplished all 5 of his passes for 35 yards, together with a key, 12-yard throw to Amari Cooper on a slant.
“I believe you see the perfect of Dak Prescott in these conditions,” McCarthy mentioned. “We put a number of time into them. I simply actually love his demeanor and his poise within the two-minute drills. It is good to get one on a Sunday. I believe that is clearly a product of Dak and the offensive gamers and coaches, simply the period of time that goes into two-minute drills. It means loads while you’re capable of get that carried out in a live-game scenario.”
For the competition, Prescott accomplished 23 of 27 passes for 237 yards. He didn’t throw a landing cross for the primary time previously seven video games he has began and completed. He additionally had a cross picked off, marking the fifth straight recreation he has had a minimum of one interception, the longest streak of his profession.
However he left along with his first win since struggling the compound fracture and dislocation of his proper ankle final yr. He underwent two surgical procedures and numerous hours of rehab, and there additionally have been questions on his well being in coaching camp after struggling a latissimus pressure in his proper shoulder.
What he missed most in his time away have been moments like these on Sunday.
“That is what you do it for, for the ball in your arms, for an opportunity to go win it,” Prescott mentioned. “That is what I used to be speaking to the offense, telling them we obtained the sport able that we wished. It is on us to go capitalize and ending this recreation off, and we have been capable of get into area objective vary and let particular groups go on the market and do their job.”