The Dallas Cowboys were able to pull out a 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions in the final game of the 2015 NFL Wild Card Weekend, but there was controversy to be had. During the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had a defensive pass interference call flagged against them, but a little arguing allowed them to have it taken away.
Bleacher Report brought full attention to the fourth quarter play that saw Detroit with a 3rd-and-1 at the Dallas’ 46-yard-line. Midway through the quarter, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a pass to Brandon Pettigrew, but it ended up being incomplete.
A flag was immediately thrown on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens for defensive pass interference. Replays showed that it appeared to be the correct call.
Already leading 20-17, this would have given Detroit 15 yards and an automatic first down deep in Dallas territory. That wasn’t meant to be though, and the whole sequence will now be remembered throughout time.
The Cowboys began vehemently arguing the penalty, and it brought the refs together to confer with one another. After a few minutes, they picked up the flag and waved off the penalty, saying that it actually didn’t happen.
Detroit then took a delay of game penalty and punter Sam Martin shanked a punt that went a mere 10 yards. The Cowboys took over with great field position, and drove to score the go-ahead, and eventual winning, touchdown.
The Big Lead reported that Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant also came onto the field while the team was arguing the pass interference call. He went out there without a helmet on, and he should have been penalized for those actions, but he wasn’t.
Mike Pereira, Fox Sports analyst and former head of NFL officiating, spoke on the call and said he believed pass interference was correct.
“It is clearly pass interference, he is not playing the ball.”
Hitchens never once turned around to play the ball, and there was indeed contact on the receiver, so Dallas should have had the pass interference stand. Once the call was reversed, the world of Twitter was on fire.
If that happened in Madden you would take it back to the store and demand a new copy.
— Kevin Clark (@KevinClarkWSJ) January 5, 2015
Detroit did lead 14-0 earlier in the game and allowed the Dallas Cowboys to come back on them, so it’s not like they can say one play decided the outcome. Still, the pass interference call never should have been reversed,and it did change a lot of the momentum in everything.
Now, the Dallas Cowboys will go on to face the Green Bay Packers on the road, and the Detroit Lions are going home for the season.
[Image via FOX]