The ending of the Cowboys-Giants game on Sunday afternoon was absolutely bananas, with Dez Bryant's fingertips being the difference between victory and defeat. But even after Bryant's catch was over-ruled, the Cowboys still got three more plays off.
That was particularly impressive since they did so in only 10 seconds, something Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn't sound too pleased about.
"I must say it's been a long time since I've seen three plays in 10 seconds," Coughlin said, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. "That was an incredible thing that happened there."
The Cowboys were given 10 seconds after Bryant was ruled out of bounds. They then threw an out to Jason Witten that ran four seconds off the clock before he stepped out of bounds. Then they attempted a shot down the field to Miles Austin and got one more look at a Hail Mary with one second on the clock.
I was watching this game with a friend over at the house and he immediately asked who was in charge of the game clock, implying that there could be some home cooking. But going back and looking at the plays, I'm not sure that was the case.
For instance, check out what happened after the first play in this sequence, when Witten is clearly out of bounds:
|Witten was out of bounds with seven seconds left on the clock. (NFL.com)|
I mean, there's just seven seconds left on the clock. The stadium clock operator didn't squeeze the button, though, and another second ran off, leaving six seconds remaining for the next play.
The next play might be a little questionable, too. The game clock started with six seconds and Romo was fully into his drop without any time having run off the clock.
|Maybe that slow finger created a slow start. (NFL.com)|
I timed it myself and got 1.6 seconds from the ball being snapped to Romo being at the above point in his drop. Which isn't the same as "not a full second." But again, the play before probably evens that out.
And here's the final play where Miles Austin is down and the ball is through the end zone and ... there's still two seconds left on the clock.
|Austin probably could've gotten a little break here. (NFL.com)|
So yeah, the clock-operating job done here is pretty bad. But it doesn't really seem bad in any nefarious way, so much as it is bad in a totally incompetent way.
Coughlin can be as upset as he wants about the way the final three plays were handled, but he should be thankful he got out of Dallas with a win.
And perhaps Jerry Jones should look to get some more spry fingers on that stadium clock operation.
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