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December 18, 2012

Garrett breaks down third-and-1 Romo keeper, says Cowboys didn't get block 'quite right' on Harrison

When the Cowboys called for Tony Romo to keep the ball and roll out on third-and-1 in the third quarter, they thought they had the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And they did. Except they didn’t quite get linebacker James Harrison blocked, and he sacked Romo for a 5-yard loss.

“We just didn’t block it quite right on the back side to trap 92 inside,” Garrett said.

Romo would have been looking for tight end Jason Witten, but the play didn’t get that far. In a conversation with reporters Monday at Valley Ranch, Garrett explained what happened and what should have happened.

“We had four third-and-1s in the game, and we made a couple of them early with some runs against them, and then they stuffed us on one,” Garrett said. “And we felt like, based on what we had seen from that formation on those three previous ones – oftentimes you don’t get a chance to see them play short yardage three times in a game – but what we saw from that formation was they were coming off the backside and they were really loading up for the strong side run. So we just tried a little – we call it ‘QB Sucker’ – play back out to the weak side. We felt like we had them. They were a little bit overloaded on the weak side, but both guys came down the line of scrimmage, and we just didn’t block it quite right on the back side to trap 92 inside, and that would have given Tony a chance to come out all the way on it.

“It’s one of those things. You’re just trying to mix up the short yardage call. We had been successful a couple times. They stopped us on one. We thought it was a good call at the time. They made a good play. We didn’t execute it quite the way we needed to up front, and Harrison made a good play stopping Tony.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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