Jason Garrett said the Buccaneers gave too much of an opening for the Cowboys to resist a try at an onside kick after taking a 10-7 lead in the first half.
“We were looking for the opportunity to do it because of how they aligned. We felt like it was there,” Garrett said. “It was there maybe even more so today than we saw going into the ball game, so we felt like it was the right time to do it.”
Kicker Dan Bailey pushed the ball straight ahead, but it went a little too far on him, and he didn’t get a chance to recover it as planned. The ball traveled 15 yards. If it had gone 10, Bailey would have had an excellent shot.
“We didn’t execute it. That ball went too far,” special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said. “To me, I think that should have been an executed play, and we didn’t execute very well. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and keep going. We thought it was a good chance because of the way they were aligned to get a play on them.”
Tampa Bay got no points from its recovery, however, and the Cowboys kept a 10-7 lead into halftime.
“Our defense was playing well. What you are trying to do in that situation is be aggressive and steal a possession,” Garrett said. “At the same time, you are injecting some confidence into the defense and saying, ‘Hey, we can do this,’ and if it doesn’t work out, you’re going to make a stop. And sure enough they did.”
-- Carlos Mendez