With the clock winding down in the first half and the Eagles on offense, McCarthy had multiple opportunities to call a timeout. The Cowboys head coach let a Philadelphia third-and-24 with 1:50 remaining and fourth-and-5 with 1:02 remaining pass by without stopping the drive and instead let the second quarter run almost to a close.
Dallas took a 20-7 halftime lead into the locker room, but it felt like the team could’ve extended that margin if McCarthy had used one of his two available timeouts.
“The decision was to take the lead going into halftime,” McCarthy told reporters after the game. “I was comfortable given where the ball was at.”
McCarthy might be in hot water with some Cowboys fans and other around the NFL media, but he still has the support of his owner. Jerry Jones explained that he’s fine with his head coach’s decision because clock management is a difficult detail to figure out in professional football.
“Other teams have issues with clock management,” Jones said in his Tuesday appearance on 105.3 The Fan. “That’s part of the game. And so let’s cut things some slack and realize that if you do enough plays, and we were critical of [Jason] Garrett when he was here. Don’t you think that goes with the territory? . . . And so that’s my point. I know first hand Mike’s capabilities and know how he approaches it, the logic that he uses. And I’m not a bit concerned about his ability to manage a tight situation.”
Jerry Jones has no concern about Mike McCarthy's issues with clock management, because other teams have issues with clock management. https://t.co/1IOqbJ4hAu
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 28, 2021
Jones’ logic is shaky at best. Just because other teams occasionally have issues with clock management shouldn’t excuse McCarthy from two pretty glaring errors in the last two weeks, one of which almost cost the Cowboys a Week 2 win over the Chargers.
Nevertheless, Jones still fully supports his head coach. He’ll need to hope that McCarthy doesn’t make a blunder that costs Dallas a game late this season, or else he’ll never hear the end of it from the team’s fanbase.