During Sunday afternoon's Packers-Cowboys game, Dallas mounted an impressive response to Aaron Rodgers' strong start, rebounding from a 21-3 deficit to cut the lead to 21-13 at halftime. They could have taken an opportunity at the end of the half to cut it even closer by utilizing an obscure rule: the fair catch free kick.

In a nutshell, the kick comes at the end of a half when a punt to run out the clock is fair caught. The team receiving the ball on the punt has the option to, even with no time on the clock, basically attempt a kickoff that, if the ball travels through the uprights, gives them three points.

An important distinction from a normal kickoff: no tee is permitted. Here's the full rule:

After a fair catch, the receiving team has the option to put the ball in play by a snap or a fair catch kick (field goal attempt), with fair catch kick lines established ten yards apart. All general rules apply as for a field goal attempt from scrimmage. The clock starts when the ball is kicked. (No tee permitted.)

Cowboys wideout Cole Beasley caught the ball on the Cowboys' 38-yard line, so Dallas was staring down a 72-yard kick.

It would have been a major longshot, but there wasn't any real downside to kicking. The worst-case scenario is the team returns the ball for a touchdown, but you've just got to defend a kickoff and, given Dan Bailey's leg, it was probably going into the end zone anyway.

It's actually something we've seen before in the past, too. As colleague Ryan Wilson pointed out in 2013, the 49ers attempted a 71-yard free kick with Phil Dawson at the end of the half. It didn't work out, but it wasn't that far off (distance wise anyway).

And back in December of 2008, current Packers kicker Mason Crosby gave it a run with a 69-yard field goal.

The good news is that Jason Garrett didn't just totally whiff on the opportunity, because he actively turned down the chance to kick the free kick.

Maybe that's actually bad news. It definitely was for everyone involved, because it would have been incredibly fun to watch happen.

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