Jimmy Johnson led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl championships in the early 1990s and coached a team that included legends Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Charles Haley.
But today’s Cowboys are a far cry from their dynastic teams of that era, and Johnson was among those puzzled by the final play of their 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
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Johnson summed up the play in a one-word tweet.
«Silly,» he wrote.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys needed a miracle from their own 24-yard line to even have a chance to tie the score. Running back Ezekiel Elliott was the center for Dallas and no other offensive linemen surrounded him. Instead, the linemen were spread wide on the left and right side of the line of scrimmage, and it was clear the Cowboys were going to try something crazy in their latest effort.
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When Elliott got the ball (he was quickly run over by a 49ers pass rusher), Prescott took a quick drop before throwing to rookie KaVontae Turpin, who was immediately hit to end the game. The Turpin lineman couldn’t get to Jimmie Ward for the block fast enough, and it was easy for the veteran cornerback to seal the deal.
The play was heavily criticized online. McCarthy explained that the result was not what they had in mind.
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«Yeah, it didn’t work out,» McCarthy said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. «I don’t really want to go into details, but obviously that wasn’t the plan. Obviously it’s a gimmick play or whatever. It’s a last play situation call that we practiced.»