Yesterday, the NFL, as per usual, dropped the ball in the officiating realm of things. During the Detroit Lions vs Dallas Cowboys NFL Wildcard Playoff game, the Lions were up at one point in the second half, 20-7.
During a Lions drive in the 4th quarter, Matthew Stafford threw a pass to Brandon Pettigrew & the play was incomplete, however, there was absolutely a pass interference committed by the linebacker of the Dallas Cowboys where he didn’t turn his head back to the football & even grabbed Pettigrew, multiple penalties on the field, all across the board.
However, after about 5 minutes, the referees picked up the flag & announced that there wasn’t going to be a penalty on the play, killing the drive & momentum for the Lions, who eventually lost the game, 24-20, during a massive comeback by the Cowboys, aided by many, many penalty calls against the Lions at inopportune times, many that were ticky-tack calls that should honestly be let go due to the fact that it is professional football, not powderpuff.
Here is the video of the play, examine for yourself if this is a valid case or not.
If you go on any major NFL network today, they will all say that the Lions should have absolutely had a pass interference call or defensive holding at the least. But, that is the kind of inconsistency we have come to expect from the NFL this year, on & off the field of play.
My question, though, is was there more to this situation that really meets the eye? Now typically I am all about a team winning & losing on the field. Every action on a playing surface leads to either a win or a loss, but in this situation, an exception should be made due to TMZ having video earlier this year of the NFL Head of Officiating being seen coming off of a Dallas Cowboys party bus in Los Angeles.
Now, when you see this video, how in the world can you not think that the NFL is in some kind of collusion with the Cowboys to get them back to the top of the league & back into prominence? The league, just as every sports league does, needs to have certain teams be at the top of the mountain on a regular basis, & the Cowboys, for as much as people like or hate them, move the TV ratings needle on any broadcast they are featured on & have to be able to be in contention to be among the best in the league.
They can do that with just their talent alone. Yesterday, it was clear that the Lions were the better team for over 3 quarters. Yes, they didn’t get defensive stops at the end of the game, I completely understand that, but the NFL playoffs are all about momentum & whomever has that momentum is the team that will have the major advantage in every game & the NFL referees clearly stole that away from the team & if the league & its owners were smart or cared about the fans’ perception of the integrity of the game & the people involved in it,
Now, even if you say that the pass interference isn’t called, later in the play, Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant ran on the field & debated with the referee, with his helmet off & should have absolutely received a 15-yard penalty, which would have also kept the drive going for the team. Who knows what would have happened after that, but its about the situation & opportunity available, especially in the NFL playoffs.
I hope that the NFL will show a bit of contrition & admit that at least the referees were wrong in the call. If nothing else, lets get some consistency through the rest of this NFL playoff run.
Yes, we know & are aware that the Cowboys are one of those teams that the NFL loves more than the brand itself, but can it not be so blatant against the teams that aren’t among the “elite” & the “royalty” of the league?