Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Jason Garrett takes blame for play
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas -- Coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett agree that the decision to try a Hail Mary from their own 36-yard line at the end of the first half of the Cowboys' 13-7 loss to the Redskins was foolish. But they're on different pages about who should get the blame for the awful result.
Phillips said Monday that Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall's game-changing fumble return for a touchdown was his fault, because major strategic decisions are the head coach's domain. A couple of days later, Garrett pinned the blame on himself.
"I called the play," Garrett said Wednesday. "It's my responsibility."
The Cowboys called a Hail Mary for the final play of the first half when they thought they had the ball at their 46. But a holding penalty on Alex Barron pushed them back 10 yards and created confusion. In hindsight, the Cowboys should then have taken a knee, but the play call stayed the same.
Tony Romo felt pressure after the snap and made the questionable decision to dump a pass to Tashard Choice in the right flat. After he was stripped and Hall took the ball in for a score, the Redskins led 10-0.
Garrett took the blame.
"We've had an aggressive style here, really throughout our football team and on the offensive side of the ball, for the last three years and it's served us well," Garrett said. "Having said that, you have to manage situations better.
"That was a situation where we should have just taken a knee and should have gone into the locker room. We didn't do that. We put them in a situation where that could happen. That was unfortunate because it obviously made a difference in the game."
Garrett did not respond to a question about his relationship with Phillips, looking to another reporter who was asking about Barron. Phillips emphasized his authority over Garrett during Monday afternoon's press conference, and Garrett apparently didn't feel the need to publicly challenge that.
Tim MacMahon is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.