The Cowboys attempted a 29-yard field goal while trailing the Patriots by seven points with just over six minutes left in the game Sunday. Brett Maher made the kick, meaning his Cowboys went from needing to score a touchdown to ... needing to score a touchdown.
The Cowboys began their next possession on their own 8-yard line (a slightly worse position than deep in Patriots territory, it must be said) and with the two-minute warning looming. Their hurry-up offense failed to produce the touchdown they needed and they lost the game.
Trailing the Vikings by seven points in the fourth quarter of Week 10, head coach Jason Garrett also chose to attempt a field goal of fewer than 30 yards. Maher made that kick, too, and the Cowboys also lost that game by four points instead of seven.
The analytics of football can be difficult to grasp, but there's nothing complicated about needing to score a touchdown and deciding not to try doing so with the ball deep in the opponent's territory. Doing it once is inexcusable; doing it twice in a month is fireable.