Economics professor supports Mike McCarthy’s fourth down decision
According to this professor, Mike McCarthy was in the right.
David Romer, an economics professor at Cal-Berkeley, started using the Bellman equation for football in the early 200s. He came out with the idea that teams should go for it on fourth down more often compared to punting the ball away.
“Teams should be a lot more aggressive on fourth down,” Romer said, via ESPN’s Greg Garber. “On average, you’d be better off going for it, essentially, in any short-yardage situation, and then there are some cases even in longer yardage when you’re in that position where neither punting nor a field goal looks very attractive.
According to Romer, if a team is going to swing and miss, the defense already has a prime advantage to convert points defensively.
“I think, basically, he was saying that if you get down there and don’t score, you’re putting the other team 80, 90 yards away from the goal line anyway, and the chances of them scoring aren’t very good,” Belichick said. “You’ll probably get the ball back in a good field position. And the percentages added up to his conclusion, which was to go for it.”
That was similar to what happened on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys were 11 yards from the end zone on 4th-and-3. McCarthy could have tied the game with a field goal but opted to go for a touchdown.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb could not get across for a first down and the Rams took over.
“Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb on fourth-and-3: “Not really a rookie mistake, but a mistake from a rookie. I need to make that conversion, make that play, and I didn’t,” via Michael Gehlken.
Owner Jerry Jones supported the decision to go for it after the game.
The Cowboys will get another chance for a win next week against the Falcons.