Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy defends failed fake punt: ‘Can’t just think about negatives’

The Cowboys were humbled at home on Thanksgiving by archrival Washington. The 41-16 defeat was highlighted by a failed fake punt on fourth-and-10 from their own 24-yard line with over 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Dallas was trailing just 20-16 at the time.

The play, a reverse to Cedrick Wilson, resulted in a 1-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

COWBOYS-WASHINGTON: Scoring updates, highlights

Washington scored on the next play and went on to tally 21 unanswered points to roll to the victory.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters postgame that the play call was “solid” and insisted that teams cannot worry about negative outcomes on such plays.

“You won’t get anywhere if you’re thinking about negatives all the time,” McCarthy said. “There’s obviously film study that goes into the call and when to call it. But when you call it, you’re obviously looking to convert it. You obviously understand on fourth-down calls what your options are.

“You either convert it or you don’t convert it. The flow of the game, all those things are factored into that decision. I’m very confident in our players and put them into position to make plays.”

McCarthy added: “It was a solid play call. It’s a good play design. Their gunner made a good play, came off of it, he put us in a high-low read for Cedrick [Wilson].

“That’s the nature of those plays. You can never convert them obviously if you don’t call them, if you don’t believe in them. I clearly understood the situation when it was called.”

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