And removed his earmuffs.
“I hope the little darlin’ didn’t hear something he hadn’t heard before,” Jones said after the game, the team’s second straight loss, per USA Today. “We should all have stopped the wheel over there if he got [upset] over abusive language.”
The play which drew Jones’ exasperation occurred in the third quarter of the NFC showdown at AT&T Stadium, when Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper touched his toes down on a 27-yard gain before momentum carried him out of bounds. The pass was ruled incomplete.
So Garrett went nuclear, slamming his red challenge flag to the turf, right in front of the side judge, who then tossed his hanky. It was an absolutely surreal display.
Garrett was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct not because of the flag-throw, head official Ron Torbert confirmed after the contest, but because he uttered “abusive language toward an official” during the display.
“Obviously on that play, we had a great view of it and they called it an incompletion, so it was such a big play in the game, you have to use your flag there … to get the call correct,” Garrett told reporters. “I knew we were going to have to use it again to correct the error.
“Apparently he didn’t like how I threw the flag.”
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Cowboys Stars Rush to JG’s Defense
Garrett and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore visibly and ardently protested the call on the field, but several Cowboys players also could be seen along the sideline reacting to the incorrect ruling.
Mindful of his words, quarterback Dak Prescott toed the line between supporting his coach and criticizing the zebras.
“We’ve got our coach’s back,” Prescott said, via USA Today. “I don’t want to say too much on that. That’s a guy being passionate about his team, passionate about the play. All I saw was him, ‘Hey, here’s the challenge flag. I know that’s a catch.’ A flag comes after that.
“I’ve just got to be careful what I say.”
Jerry Lays Into Cowboys
As star running back Ezekiel Elliott put it, the referees “weren’t great” but there are bigger fish to fry surrounding a 10-point defeat that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
Before he cracked his funny, Jones pulled exactly zero verbal punches in his postgame comments. Nobody was immune to his tongue-lashing — not Prescott, nor his teammates, nor the officials.
“What you see is what you get,” is how Jones described the current Dallas outfit, which beat up on bad opponents but now has lost two straight to elite competition.
He also bemoaned the club’s many self-inflicted mistakes, such as their three turnovers, 11 penalties, and staggering time-of-possession disadvantage (36:43 to 23:17).
“This was not good enough against a group like this,” Jones said.
Jones stated that his top concern from the game was the Cowboys’ inability to protect the ball, a pointed remark fired in Prescott’s direction. For good reason, as the two-time Pro Bowler was inconsistent throughout the afternoon, stumbling through the first half to finish 27-of-44 for 463 yards, two touchdowns and the three picks.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL