Cowboys' Jason Garrett Defends Punting on 4th-and-1 in OT: It Was a Long 1 Yard

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks during a news conference following an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett doesn't regret his decision to punt on a 4th-and-1 at the opposing 42-yard line in overtime of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

"Yeah, it was a long one [yard]," the coach said after the game, per Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com.

The Texans took over at their own 10-yard line and drove 72 yards for the game-winning field goal, earning a 19-16 win.

"You know, we had a 3rd-and-2 and we didn't make much on it and we just felt like at that point in the game, the way our defense was playing, the idea was to pin them down there," Garrett explained. "Chris did a great job with the punt. They got the ball on the 10-yard line and hopefully you make a stop and you win the game coming back the other way with a game-winning field goal."

Ezekiel Elliott was unable to pick up a first down on the third-down try and struggled to find much room all game. The Pro Bowler finished with 54 rushing yards on 20 attempts, and his 2.7 yards per carry was the third-lowest of his career.

This lack of success seemed to contribute to the decision to punt, although the Cowboys never saw the ball again as they fell to 2-3 on the year.

Meanwhile, the Texans are also 2-3 after consecutive overtime wins. Interestingly, the Week 4 victory over the Indianapolis Colts came because the opposing coach was too aggressive in overtime.

Colts coach Frank Reich elected to go for it on 4th-and-4 at the defending 43-yard line, and the attempt was unsuccessful. Houston needed only one completion to move into field-goal range and secure the win.

While they were different situations, Garrett's more conservative call didn't lead to any more success.