4th and Frustration: Do You Blame the Cowboys' Plan or Their Performance?

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I don't wanna hear much bitchin' today about offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's play-calling on the futile, fatal sequence in the second quarter of Sunday's 20-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Yeah, four consecutive runs to Marion Barber didn't produce a touchdown. But ...

I blame the performance, not the plan. Why?

Because the Dallas Cowboys entered the game 8 of 9 this season on 3rd on 1. Because they had bull-dozed the Chargers' front seven on the drive, with 11 runs out of 12 plays gaining anywhere between 2-13 yards. Because I'll never complain when a team loses with its favorite option failing in a fertile situation. Sure the Cowboys could've rolled quarterback Tony Romo with a run-pass option and sure they missed right tackle Marc Colombo.

But running your best short-yardage back (Marion Barber) behind your best run-blocking lineman (Leonard Davis) cannot be questioned. Look, the Mavs give the ball to Dirk Nowitzki down the stretch and he misses four consecutive fadeaway jumpers in a loss, I'm cool with that.

"In hindsight we could have done this, we could have done that," Garrett said in the locker room yesterday. "Leading up to that, the way we got the ball down there, we domianted them up front. It made sense to us to continue that trend and they stood firm and they did a nice job down there."

It's painful when you're best just isn't good enough, eh?

Remember back to all the criticsm Garrett received for not running on the goal line late against Green Bay? You can't now blame him for not throwing on the goal line against the Chargers.

Can you?

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