Cautious Cowboys Come Out on Top
In the battle for Texas, Dallas faced off against the Houston Texans in a game that ultimately needed overtime to determine the superior team. After a quick three-and-out for the Texans, Tony Romo and company took over, only needing a field goal to win in the sudden death format. Dez Bryant corralled a 37-yard pass from Romo, putting Dallas in "field goal range" at the 31-yard line.
The Cowboys handed it off to their stud running back DeMarco Murray twice in a row, netting zero yards, then decided to attempt a 49-yard field goal on 3rd-and-9. The logic here is that if there is a botched snap, Dallas would still have another attempt at the game winner. This is a belief that is widespread in the NFL, but unfortunately, it's misguided. The first part of this is that a bad snap is exceedingly rare (about 0.3-0.4% of the time), but the bigger part is that every yard closer to the end zone matters.