This Weekend in NFL Stupid highlights the dumbest moments and decisions in football throughout the season. Coming out of Week 5, we’re focusing on the shockingly bad and cowardly decision the Dallas Cowboys made in overtime Sunday night in Houston.
The stupidest of the stupid
You probably already know what happened. And you know it was stupid. Fourth-and-1 at the Houston 42-yard line, midway through overtime, game still tied at 16. And Jason Garrett decides to punt.
It was cowardly because Garrett was essentially playing for the tie, stupid because he’s got a tremendous offensive line, the league’s most productive running back and there was little risk associated with going for it under those circumstances.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports notes that Dallas’ win probability dropped from 51.7 percent to 47.7 percent the moment the ball was punted.
But the truly stupid aspect of this whole thing was Garrett’s justification.
The obvious criticism is that Garrett displayed a lack of confidence in his offense. His defense, essentially, was that he was actually displaying confidence in his defense.
“The way our defense was playing,” he said afterwards, “the idea was to pin them down there.”
That still suggests he was playing for the tie, not the win, which is shameful. But more importantly, if Garrett truly was confident his defense could make a quick stop on the ensuing possession, why wouldn’t he just go for it? Instead, Garrett sacrificed a chance to extend a potential game-winning drive in order to buy that defense 32 yards.
At that point, the Cowboys deserved to lose. And they did.
It was one of the stupidest decisions and rationalizations of the 2018 NFL season.
They’d end up turning it over on downs inside the Tennessee red zone. The sneak gained just one yard, and the challenge wouldn’t have been successful.
The Bills didn't want the Titans to be able to challenge a play so they ran a QB sneak in the middle of the field on 1st and 10.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 7, 2018
Why, Ben? Why?
This is by far the worst decision Ben Roethlisberger has ever made pic.twitter.com/Yxf3PMieDU
— Ivan Rapoport 🌐 (@IvanRapoport) October 7, 2018
Why, Marcus? Why?
Mariota is fortunate this wasn't picked because man it should've been.
I get that he was trying to throw the ball away but c'mon. pic.twitter.com/lFtnCkciEp
— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) October 8, 2018
Roughing the passer still ain’t right.
That Vikings touchdown came after Michael Bennett was flagged for roughing the passer on THIS… pic.twitter.com/YaSivcWBy8
— Dave Loughran (@Loughy_D) October 7, 2018
Should not have been a foul for roughing the passer on Bennett. #MINvsPHI Hit starts high, slides down and wrap-up takedown. No forcible contact to the knee area or below.
— Terry McAulay (@SNFRules) October 7, 2018
Final stupid word
Locked in a low-scoring battle with the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens panicked and completely ditched the running game. Alex Collins rushed four times for 42 yards in the first 18 minutes but received just eight carries the rest of the day while quarterback Joe Flacco dropped back to throw a ridiculous 60 times.
Gotta be calmer — and smarter — than that, Marty Mornhinweg. And that’s something that happens all too often in this league.