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'We Need to Go for It': Coach Mike McCarthy Explains Fateful 4th-Down Call in Cowboys Loss at Green Bay

Mike McCarthy did not have any regrets with the decision to go for it on fourth down in the Cowboys' OT loss at Green Bay.

Having squandered a two-TD lead in the fourth quarter on the road, the Dallas Cowboys and head coach Mike McCarthy open themselves up to all sorts of questions ... including whether he made the wrong decision in going for it on a key fourth-down play.

"Hey, to be honest with you,'' McCarthy said, "I thought we needed to go for it." 

The decision - part of a 31-28 OT loss in Green Bay which was a reunion/homecoming for McCarthy - makes the outcome one he'll wish he could forget. 

McCarthy's former quarterback Aaron Rodgers continued his dominance against the Cowboys (8-2 record as a starter), leading the Packers on yet another winning drive against the Cowboys. However, after winning the coin toss to receive the ball first in overtime and then instead of trying a 53-yard field goal on fourth-and-3, they went for broke. 

The former Green Bay head coach said that "especially with the way the game was going,'' he made the right decision.

Said McCarthy: "Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. Big play, penalty. So our thing was just keep playing. We had good calls. I'm fine with the decision, (but) bviously on fourth-and-3 ... we just didn't convert."

Indeed, QB Dak Prescott found himself under heavy pressure and threw a desperation incomplete pass as he was being engulfed by the Packers defensive front.

Hindsight is always 20/20 ... and "momentum'' is a real thing. But so is "emotion,'' and it can be argued that McCarthy let himself get caught up in the later, as his passion and intensity was revealed after the failure, when he angrily slammed his headset to the "frozen tundra'' at Lambeau Field.

But "momentum''? Yes. At times it was certainly on the side of the Packers. Green Bay's 14-0 run before the end of regulation forced Dallas to lose a two-TD lead entering the fourth quarter for the first time in franchise history (in 196 tries) ... and was proceeded by a 21-0 scoring run from Dallas, which started in the second quarter and continued into a strong second-half start. 

In the end, coming up empty-handed meant all Green Bay needed was a field goal to win it. The Packers' offense drove 55 yards in six plays before trotting out kicker Mason Crosby for the 28-yard kick, which sent the Cowboys packing and sliding to 6-3, and kept Green Bay alive with a 4-6 record and the end of a five-game losing streak. 

"I thought we were in total control in overtime," McCarthy said with a subtle knock on the refs. "Obviously with penalties and the things, very, very, very frustrated. But you have to overcome those things. This group, this group of men, hey, they have it. But just disappointed for them."

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