And like the rest of us, the Mannings — who host a Monday Night Football simulcast on ESPN2 — were puzzled by McCarthy’s latest incident of clock mismanagement, which occurred near halftime with Dallas leading 20-7.
The scenario: Philadelphia had possession just across midfield with 51 seconds remaining, time running. It was 4th-and-5 and the Eagles opted to punt. McCarthy, defying common logic, opted not to secure another drive for his offense.
Peyton: Dallas needs to call timeout!
Eli: They probably don’t know if Philly’s going to go for it or not.
Peyton: Doesn’t matter. Call timeout, Mike!
Eli: He’s thinking about it. Is someone in his ear? Does he have the clock management guy saying, ‘Hey, we can’t call it here?’
Peyton: Well, last week they couldn’t see the clock with the Chargers, they couldn’t even see the clock. Maybe tonight they can’t see it, either. They are playing at home. But I guess they’re going to be happy with 20-7.
The Cowboys went on to win, 41-21, so McCarthy’s conservative approach was immaterial to the end result. After the game, he defended his choice to take two timeouts into the locker room.
“The decision was to take the lead going into halftime,” McCarthy said, per Pro Football Talk. “I was comfortable given where the ball was at.”
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Jerry Jones Unbothered by McCarthy’s Call
This isn’t a first-time issue for McCarthy. Or even a 20th-time issue. Do a quick Twitter search and you’ll discover he’s a clock-management meme. The new (old?) Andy Reid. He would have, and should have, been excoriated if the Cowboys lost this game.
But they didn’t, and he wasn’t. And perhaps that’s why (combined with the adrenaline from a rivalry conquest) owner/general manager Jerry Jones found no fault in McCarthy after the game.
“Other teams have issues with clock management,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, per Pro Football Talk. “That’s part of the game. And so let’s cut things some slack and realize that if you do enough plays, and we were critical of [Jason] Garrett when he was here. Don’t you think that goes with the territory? . . . And so that’s my point. I know first hand Mike’s capabilities and know how he approaches it, the logic that he uses. And I’m not a bit concerned about his ability to manage a tight situation.”
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Peyton Positions Dak in MVP Race
Count the Colts and Broncos Hall of Famer among Dak Prescott’s fan club. At the conclusion of the broadcast, Manning lauded the performance of Dallas’ franchise quarterback, who completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards, three touchdowns, and no touchdowns — a surgical-type dissection of the Eagles’ stout defense.
“Good game by Dak,” Peyton remarked, per The Athletic. “I’m telling you, everybody is talking about Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr. Dak Prescott, keep him in that conversation. He played well.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL