You can blame Donte Whitner for jumping on the play fake from Tony Romo. It was the first offensive play for the Cowboys in overtime. The Cowboys were in a double tight end set. It sure looked like a run.
At least that’s what Whitner thought. And Carlos Rogers. And the last thing they saw was Jesse Holley running free with the ball, courtesy of a short slant that turned into a 77-yard play for a Dallas first-and-goal at the 1. A field goal later, it was over.
That play capped a rally by Dallas of 13 unanswered points. Tony Romo proved he has guts and he has an arm by rallying his team. And it was a worthy victory, except that on the other side of the field, the 49er players and staff might be spitting nails in anger.
It should never have come down to overtime. Whitner proved fallible. Good call by the Cowboys. Looking back, though, you have to say this one got away.
Like most Greek tragedies, the source of that anger is not an outside agent but one’s own actions – decisions made and acts taken that turned out in the end to be either damning or at least fruitless.
In the NFL, when you have control of the game at 14-0 and the ball, it’s time to—excuse the cliché—step on the other guy’s throat. Being up 24-14 with just under 12 minutes left, the ball past midfield, is an opportunity to—cliché No. 2 warning—put the metal to the floor.
Here are five things we learned in San Francisco’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.