|Smith says he botched route on costly interception|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Tuesday, 29 September 2009 00:43|
ARLINGTON, Texas – It’s not unusual for Steve Smith to change his route during the course of a game.|
But Monday night he picked the wrong time to freelance.
Frustrated by his inability to get open because of double and sometimes triple coverage, Smith altered his route late in the fourth quarter, staying outside instead of running inside where quarterback Jake Delhomme expected him to be. The result was Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman getting an easy interception on Delhomme and returning it 27 yards for a game-clinching touchdown to lift Dallas to their first win at Cowboys Stadium.
“Jake was expecting me to cross his face,” Smith said. “I should have crossed his face and I didn’t cross his face. I put Jake in a bad situation. I second-guessed my route and I shouldn’t have. The bottom line is that I screwed Jake.”
Delhomme has certainly fallen on the sword a lot for the Panthers and Smith seemed determined not to let him go down again.
“I am a firm believer in calling a spade a spade,” said Smith, who was limited to 39 yards on four receptions. “Jake, for many years, has expected me to cross a guy’s face. Nine out of ten times I cross his face. This is the one time I didn’t and I screwed us. (Newman) was playing a cover two technique. He was taking the inside away. He did a good job. Terence Newman did a good job all day. They had a very good game plan. They stuck to it. On that play I was impatient and it didn’t work. It was not up to the caliber it should have been and what’s expected of me and what I’m used to doing.”