Jason Garrett routinely plays it safe in the biggest spots.
Perhaps the Dallas Cowboys coach doesn't trust his players. Perhaps he's just another NFL coach who tries to avoid criticism by not taking "risks" when usually those risks help your chances of winning.
One week after botching the end-game situation in Baltimore, Garrett played it conservative. He called a running play on third-and-10 from the Carolina Panthers' 15-yard line with 3:39 remaining while trailing by one point. Instead of trying to win the game, the Cowboys tried not to lose. They gained 5 yards and kicked a field goal to go up 16-14. It worked out when Cam Newton couldn't engineer a game-winning drive.
"I felt that was a conservative way, that was a conservative call and I'm not, but the big (question) is well should we be having a conservative call, and I can make a good case and point that it called for that," Jones said, via The Dallas Morning News. "We certainly wanted points, that's for sure.
"I thought he took the points, took the field goal, and I thought that was conservative and the right way to win the game. I would like to see the game put away right there, but there are many things that we all would like. ... But he did the right thing. He completely shifted it over to the defense and said, which the defense has done once, but he basically said, 'OK, defense, win it.' And to their credit, they did."
Playing not to lose works when you're in Carolina. At some point, the Cowboys will have to try to win to beat the good teams.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.