Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank admitted he felt disappointed after his team failed to secure an inside kick against the Dallas Cowboys -- which led to them losing in an embarrassing way. The Falcons were cruising toward a big road win over the Cowboys in Dallas but then the home team scored 16 unanswered points in the last five minutes of the game to win 40-39.
The Cowboys scored a touchdown to reduce the deficit to 39-37 with just less than two minutes to go in the game but everything that the Falcons needed to do was to secure an inside kick to win the game. But Falcons' Jaeden Graham, Hayden Hurst, and Olamide Zaccheaus failed to aggressively fall on an onside kick by Cowboys' kicker Greg Zuerlein and Dallas retained possession with 1:48 left in the game.
The Cowboys then quickly got down to the field -- put themselves in a position to kick a field goal for the win -- which Zuerlein successfully made to complete the team’s comeback from a 39-24 deficit. "Well, you think about, do you want to respond out of doing something that's immediate and respond out of disappointment, that sadness, maybe anger, frustration, which all of our fans felt, and I understand why,'' Blank said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, as quoted on ESPN.
"Or think about, 'How do we correct this? There's 14 more games to play in the season. We have a lot of games left to play.' "There are certain aspects of our performance in the first two games, which have been really good.
Some other parts have not been good. Clearly our defense is not playing at the level we want to see it play at. And clearly on the last play of the game yesterday our players, you know, didn't do what they, you know, either what they were instructed to do and they didn't understand it, or, it's clear, though, they didn't, in my view, they didn't clearly understand what the rules were and exactly what they had to do.
I think that's demonstrated when you watch the video of it."
Falcons coach Dan Quinn admitted coaches and players have only themselves to blame for the onside kick blunder
"The execution, like I said earlier, is on everybody -- players and coaches,'' Quinn said.
"I can remember years ago Bill Walsh saying that, and it was as true then as it is today. So, when those [onside kicks] happen, we call a timeout prior to to take a look. Usually two types of onside kicks take place: one that's a high bouncer or one, if you don't use a tee, that can be a low roller to go.
Certainly the players know the rule. There was some talk regarding that. But if you think it's going to go out of bounds or not make it to the 10 to the restraining line, that's an option to back off. "But when the moment comes to be aggressive for the ball, you always take that moment.
So when it got where it got close to the line, we like to say, 'Go aggressive and get on it and go take your chance to go finish it off.' When we didn't do that, that's disappointing for us.' '