Mike Shanahan before Sunday night’s game. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Coach Mike Shanahan continues to defend the Washington Redskins’ clock management during Sunday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins did not call a timeout in the final minute of the first half after a catch by rookie tight end Jordan Reed gave them a first down at the Dallas 17-yard line. Their next snap came with 20 seconds left in the half. They ended up getting a field goal by place kicker Kai Forbath as time expired in the half after two incompletions and a third-down run by quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“They let that clock go about an extra five seconds too long,” Shanahan said Monday at Redskins Park. “We should have had the ball with 25 seconds but that’s neither here nor there. But we do have three opportunities there to go for the end zone before we kick a field goal. And that’s what you’re looking for. You’re trying to get points, possibly a touchdown and a minimum of a field goal.”

Shanahan also said there were good reasons for the Redskins not to use a hurry-up approach trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter. Griffin threw an interception in the end zone with just more than five minutes remaining in the game.

Shanahan said if the Redskins had scored a touchdown on that drive, they would have had enough time to get a stop on defense and get the ball back for another possession that potentially could have tied the game.

“What you do is kind of speed up,” Shanahan said. “You want to go different formations. Usually when you go with a no-huddle, usually it’s pretty base formations. You don’t have as much formation variations. We thought it was very important that with seven minutes left that we score that touchdown, and we thought we could do so better by changing formations. Now if we score that, the way we were playing defense, we felt like we could get the ball back with two minutes left or 2-1/2 minutes left. So we felt pretty good about our chances [of] at least tying the game, being 15 down.”

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Trial to begin for shooter in Sean Taylor case

Redskins dejected at 1-4, but not yet demoralized | Griffin says ‘no quit’

Shanahan defends Burns, says Alexander isn’t coming to save special teams

Special teams emphasis this week | Kehl and Sundberg out for the year

Red-zone struggles baffle offense | Hamilton: Is there a silver lining?

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