Dallas Cowboys: Graham Gano

Cowboys fortunate on timeout before winning kick

November, 20, 2011

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Dallas Cowboys came dangerously close to turning Dan Bailey's 39-yard game winning field goal try into a 54-yard attempt.

With the play clock running down on third down and the field goal team on the field, holder Tony Romo signaled for a timeout the Cowboys did not have. Fortunately, Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was granted a timeout a tick earlier to attempt to ice Bailey.

Had the Cowboys been granted a timeout, they would have been penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, which would have moved the line of scrimmage to the Redskins 37. Since it was third down, the Cowboys would have had the option of running another play.

Romo said he did not know until after the timeout that the Cowboys had used their two already in overtime. They used their first timeout prior to Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal try that missed to the right and the second at the 7:48 mark after an incomplete pass.

“The clock was running down, yeah, I tried to stop it at one second,” Romo said. “They helped us out on that.”

Coach Jason Garrett was a little sheepish when asked about the play.

“I just saw the whole sequence and they gave the Redskins the timeout,” Garrett said. “It was a good sequence.”

Here's the rule from the NFL:

An attempt to call an excess team timeout or to call a second timeout in the same dead-ball period by Team B in an attempt to “freeze” a kicker, will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will subject the offending team to a 15-yard penalty (See 12-3). This will apply to field goal or try attempts.

Third quarter: Redskins 17, Cowboys 10

November, 20, 2011
LANDOVER, Md. -- The Cowboys trailed 17-10 after three, but they were on the doorstep when the quarter ended.

First possession leads to score: The Redskins took a 17-10 lead when Graham Gano converted a 40-yard field goal with 11:40 left in the quarter. The Redskins completed long pass plays, 24 yards to Fred Davis and 28 yards to Jabar Gaffney. Rex Grossman was able to beat the pass rush and get the ball down the field when necessary. Grossman also used the play-action pass well to freeze the Cowboys' linebackers.

Cowboys driving:
As the third quarter came to a close, the Cowboys were faced with a first-and-goal from the Redskins 7. The drive was led by quarterback Tony Romo, who scrambled away from trouble to find open receivers. On a third-and-6 from the Washington 14, Romo moved out of trouble and completed a 7-yard pass to DeMarco Murray. Earlier in the drive, Murray picked up 7 yards on a fourth-and-1 from the Washington 40. There was also a 15-yard pass play to tight end Jason Witten.

Witten gets a catch: Witten didn't have a catch in the first half but picked up his first reception with 9:28 left in the quarter. He caught a 11-yard reception from Tony Romo, but London Fletcher stripped him of the ball. When Fletcher got up to celebrate the play, Witten recovered the ball.