Mike McCarthy ‘frustrated’ with penalties, but not fourth-down decision in OT loss to Packers

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy whipped his headset at the Lambeau Field turf following an ill-fated fourth down attempt in overtime of Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

After allowing the Packers to wipe out a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and force overtime, the Cowboys were on the move, but two penalties on the drive stymied Dallas. Facing 4th-and-4 from the Green Bay 35-yard-line, McCarthy eschewed a 53-yard field goal attempt into the wind, deciding to try to play for the game-ending TD.

“We were right on the line for a field goal,” McCarthy said, via ESPN. “Hey, to be honest with you, I thought we needed to go for it. I mean I called it on second down, especially with the way the game was going. Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. So our thing was just keep playing. We had good calls. I’m fine with the decision obviously on fourth-and-3. Just didn’t convert.”

Quarterback Dak Prescott was pressured on the play, and his desperation toss to Tony Pollard fell incomplete.

But the real failure on the drive came earlier with two penalties, an inexplicable offside on wide receiver Jalen Tolbert, and a holding call on guard Connor McGovern wiped out gains of 9 and 16 yards.

“I thought we were in total control in overtime,” McCarthy said. “Obviously with penalties and the things, very, very, very frustrated. But you have to overcome those things. This group, this group of men, hey, they have it. But just disappointed for them.”

The holding call was massive, as the Cowboys would have had a first-down at the 26-yard-line. Instead, three plays later, it was Packers ball, and they marched for the game-winning field goal.

The Cowboys disappointing loss scuttled McCarthy’s reunion in Green Bay and thrust Dallas into third place in the NFC East after the Giants won earlier in the day.

“Obviously we wanted to get it for Mike,” Prescott said. “And it sucks we didn’t. That’s that. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. There’s nothing else to add on. We wanted to get it for Mike but more importantly we wanted to lay another brick on where we’re going and we didn’t do that. So we’re going to stick together and find a way to make this team better moving forward.”

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