With both offenses lighting up the scoreboard, Sunday's game between Dallas and Denver was likely to be won by the team who had the ball last. Denver proved to be that team, running the clock down to the final seconds and hitting a game-winning kick. Jason Garrett could have ensured Dallas got an opportunity to tie the game, but chose not to.
With 1:40 left in the game, the Broncos had a third-and-1 at Dallas' 2-yard line. Garrett said he considered letting Denver score, but the Cowboys played Denver straight up. The Broncos converted the third down and ran the clock down, setting up the game-winning chip shot.
"You're balancing the idea of getting a stop there,'' said Garrett, via the Dallas Morning News. "If you get a stop there, they kick the field goal and you give yourself a much better chance to tie the football game coming back. You have no timeouts and all that, so you weight those out. We decided to try to make the stop on third down and they made it by about an inch.''
Had Dallas let Denver walk in, the Cowboys would have likely gotten the ball back down seven points with roughly 1:30 to play and one timeout remaining. The way Dallas shredded the Broncos through the air, that may have been enough time to drive down the field and tie the game. Dallas drove 87 yards in four plays late in the fourth quarter.
Even though allowing Denver to score would have given the Cowboys the ball back, the strategy doesn't always work. Mike Holmgren and the Green Bay Packers famously allowed Denver to score a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXII with 1:45 to play. Green Bay drove into Denver territory, but was unable to score to tie the game.