FORT WORTH, Texas - Tom Coughlin is still ticked at the tocks.
The Giants coach was once again wondering aloud – this time with a little more of an accusatory tone – how the Cowboys managed to squeeze three offensive plays into the final 10 seconds of play in Sunday’s game at Cowboys Stadium.
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“As I mentioned [Sunday], the longest 10 seconds I’ve ever been around,” Coughlin said Monday in a conference call. “Three plays in 10 seconds, two of which went to the end zone, seems a little much to me. We’ll have to see if we can get some kind of response from the league on that.”
A league spokesman said the NFL was not aware of any issues with the clock operation as of Monday morning. League offices were closed Monday and Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy, but “Carl Johnson and his crew will review it as soon as they can and get back to the Giants.”
After Dez Bryant’s near-touchdown, the Cowboys had 10 seconds left. Tony Romo completed a 10-yard pass to Jason Witten that took four seconds, then threw an incompletion on a slant to Miles Austin from the 27 that took five seconds. That left one second and one final chance to win the game. Romo’s pass was thrown out of the back of the end zone.
The Giants were in a similar situation in Philadelphia earlier this year and chose to attempt a 54-yard field goal with seven seconds left rather than chance another offensive snap to get closer.
“Based on the way in which that was projected (Sunday) night, we could have had two plays (against the Eagles),” Coughlin sniffed.
So, is Coughlin suggesting funny business and that the Cowboys may have manipulated the game clock to give themselves an extra snap?
“You were at the game, you saw it,” he told reporters on the conference call. “I mean, two plays into the end zone are going to take more than four seconds a piece. I just don’t have anything for you other than that. You have to speculate on the rest of that.”
After beating the Cowboys on Sunday night, the Giants beat Hurricane Sandy. They landed at Newark around 1:15 a.m. Monday morning, just ahead of the storm. “We’ve been business as usual since we landed,” Coughlin said of the coaches grading the game and some medical evaluations. The big difference is that the players were told to remain home and report back on Wednesday. The coaches, meanwhile, were dismissed on Monday evening to be with their families and were expecting to be back at work late Tuesday morning or early afternoon. “We’re pretty good at the mid-stream adjustment thing,” Coughlin said. “It’s just trying to do the smart thing, that’s all”
Coughlin had no updates on the condition of injured players such as LB Chase Blackburn (hamstring) or TE Bear Pascoe (ankle). S Antrel Rolle hit his head on the turf late in the game and was being evaluated for a concussion. “He was a little dizzy when he came off the field,” Coughlin said. “(Sunday) night on the plane he said he was fine, he didn’t seem to have any issues. He had no headaches. I’m sure he’ll still have to go through the protocol but hopefully he’ll be ok.”