IRVING, Texas -- Super Bowl XLIX was one of the best games of all-time because of the drama.
The New England Patriots looked like they had it won on Tom Brady's pass to Julian Edelman, lost it on the crazy catch by Jermaine Kearse and then won it again on Malcom Butler's interception at the goal line.
For a long time the Seattle Seahawks will have to live with the what-if of Super Bowl XLIX?
Since last night, I wondered, "What if those were the Dallas Cowboys?" from both sides of the ball.
Patriots: The Cowboys don’t go three corners on the goal line. They leave their safeties in the game for fear of the running game inside the 5. Sterling Moore would have been in the Butler role. Considering the backgrounds of the players, however, Tyler Patmon is the more appropriate choice.
Both were undrafted free agents -- as was Moore but he isn’t a rookie. Both made names for themselves in the offseason. Neither played a ton during the regular season. But Patmon has a savvy to his game despite his lack of experience. He trusts his eyes the way Butler trusted his.
I do wonder if Jason Garrett would have called a timeout once the ball got to the 1 to preserve time for the offense. I do wonder if they would have intentionally allowed a touchdown on second down to preserve the time as well.
I was screaming for Bill Belichick to call a timeout just for those reasons. He understands clock management a lot better than I do. But he played it out and looks like even more of a genius. WWGD? What would Garrett do?
Seahawks: Imagine the hue and cry if Scott Linehan called a pass play from so close? Or if Tony Romo checked out of a run play down there? Linehan was hearing it in some Cowboys’ circles from his Pro Bowl call in which Matt Ryan hit Jimmy Graham on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
If the Cowboys passed the ball down there, it would have been a fade to Dez Bryant. That is one of their go-to plays in the tight red zone and Bryant almost always wins. Almost. But imagine if the Cowboys didn’t run the ball behind DeMarco Murray, the league’s leading rusher, and an offensive line with three Pro Bowlers?
Those coaches might not have gotten on the plane on the way home. Romo would have been vilified. Pete Carroll’s postgame explanation sounds OK, but who wastes a play with the Super Bowl on the line?
The Seahawks’ identity is Marshawn Lynch, the way Murray became the Cowboys’ identity in 2014. Run the ball and then bang the timeout if it doesn’t work out.
I’d like to imagine Linehan and Bill Callahan would have had a run call there to gain a yard even against a goal-line front.