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Jerry Jones shrugs at Mike McCarthy’s struggles with clock management

The Cowboys handled the Eagles in Week 3, but Chris Simms explains why Dallas coach Mike McCarthy's decision to not take time out was poor clock management.

The closing Dallas drive of the Week Two win over the Chargers included some questionable clock management by Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy. The closing Philadelphia drive before halftime of the Week Three game also included some questionable clock management by McCarthy.

McCarthy failed to use either of his remaining time outs as the Eagles sputtered. After second and 21 became third and 24 and after third and 24 became fourth and five, McCarthy didn’t call a time out, preventing the Cowboys from getting a crack at a two-minute drive that could have resulted in a field goal or a touchdown, extending the 20-7 lead.

“The decision was to take the lead going into halftime,” McCarthy told reporters after the game. “I was comfortable given where the ball was at.” (Unless the Cowboys feared a 13-point play by the Eagles, the Cowboys would have taken the league going into halftime.)

Plenty of people (including Peyton Manning on the Manningcast) had a problem with McCarthy’s decision making. The man who signs McCarthy’s checks does not.

Other teams have issues with clock management,” Jones said in his Tuesday appearance on 105.3 The Fan. “That’s part of the game. And so let’s cut things some slack and realize that if you do enough plays, and we were critical of [Jason] Garrett when he was here. Don’t you think that goes with the territory? . . . And so that’s my point. I know first hand Mike’s capabilities and know how he approaches it, the logic that he uses. And I’m not a bit concerned about his ability to manage a tight situation.”

Well, he should be. This isn’t a subject on which reasonable minds may differ. It’s basic, anyone-who-plays-Madden clock management stuff. A head coach has fairly limited obligations during a game. Managing the clock is one of them. And McCarthy has failed to manage the clock effectively in key moments of the last two games.

Yes, criticism goes with the territory. But no one (other than Jones) is defending McCarthy. There’s no other side to this.

Maybe there’s a simple explanation for this. Maybe McCarthy mismanaged the clock on defense so that he wouldn’t have an opportunity to mismanage the clock on offense. Even if that’s the case (and I’m joking, I think), it’s not nearly good enough.