For the last couple of weeks, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have managed to find innovative ways to lose games. Whether it is a poor decision by Prescott or a boneheaded call by head coach Jason Garrett, the comedy of errors has been so bad it’s funny.
The result, regrettably, has been the same—another loss due in large part to their own blunders.
But with playoff hopes hanging on by a very thin thread, they will get their heads in the game and clean it up. As good as this team is, that has to be what happens.
If you caught the beginning of Sunday’s pivotal game against a surging Los Angeles Rams team, that did not appear to be the case.
It is the most straightforward part of playing football. It doesn’t require a player to be fast, strong, agile, or even talented. All he has to do is say “heads” or “tails.” If he wins the coin toss, he says whether the team wants to defer to the second half or receive.
Simple, right? Yeah—but not so simple that Dallas couldn’t figure out how to screw it up.
After winning the toss, rather than tell the referee the Cowboys wanted to defer, Dak Prescott had to improvise.
So, when the game began, the Cowboys kicked off because that is what Prescott said the team wanted to do. But then they were going to have to kick off in the second half as well – because surely Sean McVay would make sure his captain got the call right.
As it turns out, Prescott did eventually say the word “defer.” He just said it last rather than first, for some crazy reason.
In the end, Prescott got lucky. The league office decided the call could be reviewed and overturned it. Dallas did get to start the second half with the ball.
In bungling the coin flip, Prescott didn’t break any rules or do anything that would warrant a fine. But he is in the midst of a prove-it contract year. Rather than take the best offer Jerry Jones was willing to make, the Cowboys quarterback bet on himself this season.
Play well, stay healthy, and he would cash in when it came time to talk contract again in the offseason. Do the opposite, and it will cost him millions. For the most part, he has played very well—but he has made his share of mistakes, too.
When Jerry Jones (or his son) sits down with Prescott’s agent to talk about a contract extension, they will bring up every mistake he made throughout the season.
It’s not because they do not value Prescott as a player. They just want to highlight any and every reason possible that says they should pay Prescott less money. Messing up something as simple as a coin toss will qualify as just such a reason.
In the end, Prescott is going to make an insane amount of money no matter what; his overall play will require Jerry Jones to do so. But if Jones can figure out how to use something like this to shave even $50,000 off, you can be that he’ll do it.