The Cowboys practice situational football all the time, but in the heat of the moment, running back Felix Jones lost track of the situation. The Cowboys faced fourth-and-20 at their own 45-yard line with 11 seconds remaining. Tony Romo hit Jones in the flat, and Jones headed for the sideline, running out of bounds at the Detroit 48 after only a 7-yard gain.
Jones started heading back to the huddle before realizing the Cowboys had turned the ball over on downs.
"I think he probably lost track of the down at the end," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday.
Jones' gaffe came a week after Tashard Choice ran out of bounds with 1:52 remaining and the Cowboys trying to kill time against the Redskins. Garrett, though, said his team understands the importance of situational football.
"I think the embracing the importance of it, and I think the importance of it," Garrett said. "It's hard not to when you play the kind of games we've been playing recently. The biggest thing we have to do is we have to execute. There have been a lot of really good things done at the end of games to allow us to win games. If you look at the San Francisco game, if you look at the Washington game, there are good indications of those things. But then you look at specific plays within those. Those are all real good learning experiences for everybody. It's our job as coaches to show those guys on tape: This is what happened; this is the reaction that you had; this is why it was a good reaction or a bad reaction; and this is how we can learn from it. These situations will not go away. They don't go away for any team in the league. We'll come back again, and we need to be good in them."
-- Charean Williams