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November 09, 2012

To Garrett, it's not a bad idea to defer if you win the coin toss on the road

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he likes the idea of playing defense on the road first. For the last three road games, he Cowboys have won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half.

“We feel like there are a lot of statistics that suggest it’s easier to play defense early in games on the road,” Garrett said at his Friday press conference at Valley Ranch. “There are a few other factors that add to this that I don’t want to get into. But we feel like when certain conditions are right, deferring is a better choice for us. A lot of it has to do with being on the road in that kind of environment.”

The Cowboys deferred their choice at Baltimore, Carolina and Atlanta. Baltimore drove 60 yards for a field goal on its opening drive, but Carolina and Atlanta each went three-and-out on the opening drive.

The one time this year the Cowboys won the toss and took the ball on the road, Felix Jones fumbled the kickoff at Seattle.

Other teams might have the same philosophy about opening on defense on the road.

Tampa Bay and Chicago both won the toss at Cowboys Stadium and deferred. The Buccaneers got an interception on the third play. The Bears gave up three first downs but forced a punt.

Two weeks ago at Cowboys Stadium, the New York Giants won the toss, took the ball and drove for a field goal.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez


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Unless I was facing a truly high-powered offense, I would defer every time I won the toss. And even moreso in the Cowboys situation where their defensive unit is far better than their offense.

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