On Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys dominated division-rival Philadelphia to take the lead in the NFC East.
The Cowboys routed the Eagles by final score of 41-21. While it was a convincing win, head coach Mike McCarthy confounded the nation with one decision he made shortly before halftime.
The Cowboys had the Eagles facing a fourth down on their own side of the field with just under a minute left on the clock. With two timeouts in their back pocket, everyone expected the Cowboys to take a timeout.
However, McCarthy opted not to take a time out. After taking the night to sleep on his decision, the head coach made it clear he was comfortable with how his team was playing and didn’t feel the need to try and score again before the end of the half.
“We decided to take the conservative approach,” McCarthy said, via Cowboys reporter Jon Machota. “I was very comfortable with the command that our defense had in that game, just not even giving them a chance to put us in a backed up situation.”
Mike McCarthy on not calling a timeout late in the first half last night: “We decided to take the conservative approach. … I was very comfortable with the command that our defense had in that game, just not even giving them a chance to put us in a backed up situation.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 28, 2021
At the end of the day, McCarthy didn’t need to take those timeouts in an effort to add a few more points before halftime. Dallas was already leading 20-7 and hadn’t given up any points to the Eagles offense.
The Cowboys were clearly the better team and McCarthy knew it.