After punt returner Cole Beasley fair caught a Packers punt at the Cowboys’ 38-yard line, Dallas could have utilized an obscure NFL rule to attempt an untimed, unrushed field goal attempt. (It’s known as a “fair catch kick.”)
Because the defense can’t rush, the kick can’t be blocked. With no time left on the first-half game clock, the Cowboys wouldn’t have had to worry about giving the ball back to the Packers.
But it would have been a 72-yard attempt, and the rule allows the kick to be returned. No doubt worried that place-kicker Dan Bailey could push the ball beyond 72 yards — and thus give the Packers a return opportunity — Cowboys coach Jason Garrett passed.
There have been a handful of such attempts in recent NFL history. The Packers actually tried one in 2008, but place-kicker Mason Crosby missed from 69 yards. The San Francisco 49ers tried one in 2013, but place-kicker Phil Dawson was short from 71 yards.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this post.