FOXBORO, Mass. — The Cowboys outplayed the Patriots for most of Sunday afternoon, but when it came to crunch time, New England was unquestionably the better team.
To Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the 20-16 loss in New England was due to some conservative calls in the fourth quarter.
“We rolled the dice at the end and went conservative, rather than try to get some points, and it bit us,” Jones said.
One such conservative call came on third-and-goal from the 5-yard-line, when Tony Romo ran right before throwing a shovel pass to Tashard Choice, who lost yardage on the play. The Cowboys settled for a field goal to take a 16-13 lead, but Tom Brady later led the Patriots on a game-winning touchdown drive.
Brady got that chance after a three-and-out from the Cowboys, when they ran three straight rushing plays. The primary goal was to chew up clock, and the secondary goal was to get a first down, which would have likely allowed Dallas to run out the clock and win the game. They failed on both, using just 54 seconds to go three-and-out.
“You always second-guess whether or not we should have tried to run a little offense down there instead of running it three times,” Jones said.
Jones also said he’d expect a different approach if the game were played against an opponent in January.
“We are up here on their field and we knew what the odds were, so we flipped a coin and it came up against us,” he said. “We got it down to a coin flip at the end, and if you were in a playoff game, you’d probably drive it home.”