- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Cowboys used a conservative game plan on Sunday and it cost them.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the game plan was to be conservative but if the game got fast, he felt his group would be competitive in a track meet.
However, the Cowboys guessed wrong in thinking they could shut down Tom Brady on the final drive of the game.
"Whenever you get the ball into the hands of a player like Brady at home, you've got problems," Jones said. "We are up here on their field and we knew what the odds were, so we flipped a coin and it came up against us. We know what they are about and we knew what our challenge was here. We got it down to a coin flip at the end and if you were in a playoff game, you'd probably drive it home."
Jones said it's easy to second-guess what the Cowboys did on offense, especially in the red zone where it went 1-3 overall, yet the overall offensive game plan was called a little safe.
"I think give them some credit," Jones said of the Patriots. "We too made a lot of mistakes out there but we were able to overcome them. I thought Tony [Romo] was playing well. I would have like to have seen [a less conservative game plan]. That’s not second-guessing. We all would. We needed a couple of first downs at the end [of the game] but we knew good and well we’re gonna have to open it up and throw the ball a little bit to get any first downs and they knew exactly what they were doing defensively to shut the run down."
With the Cowboys trying to close out the game, they went three-and-out, using three run plays. It was a surprise, because after a Tyron Smith false start on third down, it forced the Cowboys into a third-and-18 from the 20. Tashard Choice ran for 8 yards off tackle.
"Well you always want to as a quarterback, but once again, you do a lot of game planning and film and things you feel comfortable with," quarterback Tony Romo said when asked if he would have liked to pass the ball on that third down. "As a competitor, you always want to be in a situation to have a chance. At the time of the game, I can understand definitely why we did that."