There will be an enduring scholarly schism over whether the Dallas Cowboys' final play last night was the worst of all time or merely in the top five. In these divisive times, though, we can all agree that it was among the most hilarious.
A fitful night's sleep has done nothing to take the edge off of realizing that we will never know what would have happened if KaVontae Turpin had not been tackled. Something profoundly bizarre, no doubt, because why else would Ezekiel Elliott have been lined up at a center? Something that required splitting large offensive lineman out wide instead of throwing 11 skill position players out there for maximum athleticism and to increase the razor-thin chances of such a desperate attempt finding success. Something that would have had special name like the Immaculate Reception or Music City Miracle had it not exploded mere seconds after launch.
Answers are in short supply because it sounds like Dallas might run it again. Something to look forward to should McCarthy stick around for more fun and early playoff exits.
"Yeah, it didn’t get going," he said in the postgame. "I really don’t want to get into the detail of it, but that obviously wasn’t the plan. It’s obviously a gadget play or whatever. It’s a last-play-situation call that we practice."
Allow us to binge several episodes of Joe Rogan and re-visit the last 100 Facebook statuses scrolled past on our parents' shared laptop and present a wild conspiracy theory. One that would explain the secrecy and shed some light on why Elliott may have found himself sprawled out on his back like any number of unfortunate souls who have entered an elimination battle with CT from The Challenge.
That was the play. Elliott was supposed to be blown up. It was all part of the plan. A classic misdirection.
Why? Because when you need a million yards and need to throw the football backward at least a half-dozen times, a little red herring goes a long way. What better way to throw things into even more chaos than having your running back fake an injury after getting pancaked, allowing the Niners to forget about him, only to arise like Lazarus 10 seconds later sprinting down a sideline free and clear for the final lateral?
Laugh if you want. Consider the other option. Which is that wasn't the plan. Way, way, way worse.
So here's where we land. What we all construed as incompetence could actually be brilliance snuffed out before it could fully manifest. Honestly, this feels like the most reasonable explanation. Or it's just a wild conspiracy theory for you to easily dismiss.