Cowboys coach Jason Garrett definitely isn't regretting his decision to have Dak Prescott spike the ball late in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's thrilling, walk-off 34-31 victory at Dallas on Sunday.
If the Cowboys had let time run off the clock instead of spiking it, it's possible that Dan Bailey's late field goal could've forced overtime. Instead, Bailey's field goal came with 35 seconds remaining in regulation, which was enough for Aaron Rodgers to lead the Packers downfield for Mason Crosby's winning kick.
Garrett's decision to spike ball was questionable because it came at a point when the Cowboys had the Packers defense on their heels. After taking over on their own 25-yard line with 1:33 left in the game, Prescott immediately completed two passes that took Dallas down to Green Bay's 40-yard line.
At that point, the Cowboys could've kept pushing against a worn-out Packers defense, but Garrett called for the spike, which stopped the clock AND gave the Packers defense 40 seconds to rest.
"We just felt that was the right thing to do at that time," Garrett said of the spike, via NFL.com. "Keeping the timeout to be able to kick a field goal is really important if you can do it. So in those situations when you make a first down, we believe clock it there so you keep the timeout in your back pocket."
The irony of the situation is that the Cowboys didn't end up using their timeout on that drive.
Setting up a field goal wasn't the only reason Garrett called for a spike, he also had another explanation.
"Obviously, in that situation we're trying to go down there and score a touchdown, so you want to keep as much time on the clock as you can," Garrett said. "If the clock is going and you need a timeout to get yourself in field goal range, you have that one still available to you."
The problem with Garrett's strategy is that the Cowboys left Rodgers 35 seconds to work with after Bailey hit a 51-yard field goal to tie the game. If the Cowboys hadn't spiked the ball, Rodgers would've likely had no time to work with and the game likely would've gone to overtime assuming Bailey could've hit a last-second kick.
Even Rodgers was surprised at the Cowboys late game strategizing. The Packers quarterback said the Cowboys left him "a little too much time on the clock," after their late field goal.
The spike also cost the Cowboys a down, which proved to be a problem. If Dallas had run one extra play, it's possible they could've given themselves a chance to score a touchdown. Even if they didn't score a touchdown, though, they still could have run time off the clock and kept Rodgers off the field -- perhaps for the rest of the game.
It was one of the decisions that Cowboys fans will likely be talking about all offseason.