- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys were down 42-17 with about 13 minutes to play in the game to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday when coach Jason Garrett talked to his staff about sitting his veteran offensive starters.
Garrett said he should have sat players such as Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, but didn't because they talked him out of it. Garrett's offense had the ball twice in the fourth quarter and could have gotten the ball once more with about two minutes to play. But the Saints went for it on fourth down, getting a five-yard first-down run from Pierre Thomas to close out the game.
"We’re all competitors. Everybody is a competitor out there -- everybody wants to play," Garrett said. "Those guys wanted to continue to play. If you throw all the factors together, we should have taken them out of the game -- they shouldn’t have played that last series."
The discussion to sit the vets intensified with about 5:44 to play with the Cowboys trailing, 49-17.
"We should have taken all those guys out," Garrett said. "They all wanted to stay in, ‘We’re not coming out,’ but that was a bad decision by me. We should have taken them out of the game."
Starting defensive end DeMarcus Ware, making his return after a three-game absence with a thigh injury, tweaked the injury. He was pulled early in the fourth quarter.