The situation: End of the first half, 0:35 to go. Cowboys trailing by 7. The Ravens just squib kicked the ball after scoring a TD, which Lawrence Vickers returns to the 30 yard line. The Ravens and Cowboys each have 1 timeout.
Assuming you trust your QB not to make a dumb decision and throw a pick, the worst case scenario here is that you throw an incomplete pass, stopping the clock. You can still simply just run the ball twice, burning off the Ravens’ remaining timeout on the first run, and then taking it to halftime with the second run.
What do the Cowboys do? With their best runner out, they run the ball out of the shotgun formation with their backup RB, which goes nowhere, and take it to the locker room. What?!?
The Cowboys employ Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten, who to my knowledge are all healthy. Granted, the OL has not played well this season, but so far in this game, they had. This line of play calling is either extremely conservative, or an indication of a complete lack of trust in your offense.
I have no data to back up the following claim, but I have to believe that the likelihood of getting 40 yards in 0:35 with one timeout and kicking a FG far outweighs the likelihood of some kind of turnover and points going the other way. I can see if the Cowboys were playing with the lead against a bad team or something, but not when you have a 7 point deficit and the opposing team’s best CB is out of the game.
Take a shot, Garrett.