Cowboys fortunate on timeout before winning kick

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Dallas Cowboys came dangerously close to turning Dan Bailey's 39-yard game winning field goal try into a 54-yard attempt.

With the play clock running down on third down and the field goal team on the field, holder Tony Romo signaled for a timeout the Cowboys did not have. Fortunately, Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was granted a timeout a tick earlier to attempt to ice Bailey.

Had the Cowboys been granted a timeout, they would have been penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, which would have moved the line of scrimmage to the Redskins 37. Since it was third down, the Cowboys would have had the option of running another play.

Romo said he did not know until after the timeout that the Cowboys had used their two already in overtime. They used their first timeout prior to Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal try that missed to the right and the second at the 7:48 mark after an incomplete pass.

“The clock was running down, yeah, I tried to stop it at one second,” Romo said. “They helped us out on that.”

Coach Jason Garrett was a little sheepish when asked about the play.

“I just saw the whole sequence and they gave the Redskins the timeout,” Garrett said. “It was a good sequence.”

Here's the rule from the NFL:

An attempt to call an excess team timeout or to call a second timeout in the same dead-ball period by Team B in an attempt to “freeze” a kicker, will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will subject the offending team to a 15-yard penalty (See 12-3). This will apply to field goal or try attempts.