Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sean Salisbury is an idiot

I didn’t catch the whole thing, but Salisbury was on ESPN News Sunday night saying he couldn’t believe Dallas didn’t take a safety.

This would have been a stupid idea at the time, and in retrospect, it’s lunacy. Dallas recovers a fumble at their own 1-yard line. Two give-up runs and a throwaway and it’s fourth down at the one.

I’m not going to say it didn’t cross my mind to take a safety because it did. But the lead was 7. Making the lead five didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Dallas has already famously given up several long plays this year, so it was far from certain Dallas could make the stop even if they’d gotten off a nice free kick.

And there’s that. A free kick from the 20, unless it gets absolutely boomed, would have been fielded at the 30 or further. Just using averages, if they had netted 40 yards, NY would have had the ball at their own 40.

As it turned out, McBriar had his punt blocked, but this worked out fabulously because the returner was unable to field the punt. With a nice roll, it turned into a clock-eating 51 yard punt. The Giants took over at their own 48. So even if they had taken the safety and the free kick, they would have only been 8 yards better, maybe a little more if the kick and coverage were good.

And two plays later the Giants still would have scored. With the safety, they would have won. I know it’s not really possible to say that the same plays with the same results would have happened if they free kicked (kicked free?). But one way or another, a genius strategy of taking a safety would have bitten Dallas, and Salisbury would have been shouting how stupid it was.


Anonymous Jordy said...

It doesn't get much more painful than when they square off Salisbury and Clayton to shout at each other on ESPN.

Not having seen your game or Salisbury calling for a safety, I have to think Sean saw the end of the Minnesota/Wisconsin game Saturday.

I'm not a college guy so forgive any missed details. Minnesota led by 3 in the waning seconds, near their end zone. The punter didn't make the catch clean, but tried kicking anyway, when obviously running straight backward would have been a no-lose prop.

Punt, thud, Wisconsin recovers for a TD and a win. This may even have been the very last play.

I gotta think Salisbury saw this happen Saturday, saw your punt get partially blocked, and applied it despite that it wasn't the same situation.

3:00 PM

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