Jason Garrett’s clock management gave Aaron Rodgers one more chance. As we’ve learned many times in the last two years, including several Hail Mary’s, you do not give Aaron Rodgers that chance. Rodgers took that chance when he rolled to his left, and found Jared Cook on an amazing throw and catch right on the sideline with just a few seconds remaining.
Mason Crosby then drilled the gam winner as time expired, to send Green Bay to the NFC title game.
It should not have come to that.
Garrett’s error came with just under a minute remaining, when Dak Prescott completed a pass to Jason Witten for a first down at the Green Bay 40 with 57 seconds remaining. Dallas clocked the ball at 48 seconds, rather than running a play to try to advance the ball. At the time they did so, they were just outside of field goal range, trailing by 3, and with Green Bay sitting with two timeouts (Dallas had one in hand).
This isn’t a second guess–I didn’t like it when they did it. The worst case scenario (well, other than missing the kick) happened when Prescott threw incomplete on 3rd and 3. They could have really used that extra down, had plenty of time left, and left Green Bay with enough time for a Rodgers miracle (particularly with two timeouts) after Dan Bailey nailed the long field goal to tie.
You don’t clock it in that situation. You still have time, need to score, and simply cannot leave Green Bay the opportunity that was left while conceding a down. Especially when it was Aaron Rodgers on the other side.