The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday despite a flurry of penalties from NFL officials. The Cowboys were called for 14 penalties according to my count. Normally, you are able to tell if the referees are going to be strict or simply “let the boys play”. But during Sunday’s NFC East match-up, the officiating was terribly inconsistent. And that is what had Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant so upset during most of the game.
“I don’t wanna be a pain for the refs but, damn. Some things are just obvious….I don’t want to (frustrated)…if it’s obvious it’s obvious,” Bryant told the media after the game. “The guy was just looking at me like (dead stare)…like I wasn’t even there. I’m like ‘I know you see me talking to you, man. He holding me.’ I got kinda frustrated, you know, on some of the calls today. But I let it go and stayed focused.”
Ironically, it was a pass interference call involving Bryant in the endzone that resulted in the Cowboys first touchdown of the day. But even with the numerous “pink” flags that were being thrown up, there might have been just as many non-calls. Late in the first quarter, there was a late hit on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo that I’ve seen called 9 out of 10 times. Nothing. In the second quarter, Rookie wideout Terrance Williams almost had a critical third down conversion catch, but the Philly defender made contact with him early. That pass interference wasn’t called and forced the Cowboys to kick a field goal.
Later in the second quarter, Bryant made a shoe-string catch near the out-of-bounds line that was incorrectly called incomplete. Then, late in the third, Bryant absorbed a massive hit that had commentator Troy Aikman himself asking for a “hit on a defenseless receiver” call. Again, nothing.
When asked about a specific play where both Romo and him went over to an official to lobby for a call, Bryant said a ref actually pulled out a flag and then put it back.
“The guy was getting ready to throw the flag. (Then) he put the flag back in his pocket. And I’m like ‘What?!? I don’t care if your having trouble getting the flag out. Still throw it!’…But, you know, it’s just how this game works. It’s just the way it is.”
The biggest slap in the face to Cowboys fans, in my opinion, was the J.J. Wilcox interception in the endzone that was overturned. I was 100% positive there was not clear visual evidence to overturn the call on the field. Again, I was wrong. These refs must have doctorate degrees in physics to overturn that one. On top of this dandy of a call, the refs suspiciously picked up a flag on that same drive after the Eagles converted on a fourth down and one play. It was as if they were giving Philadelphia every chance they could to score and get back into the game. Obviously, as a Dallas fan, I’m bias. But that doesn’t mean something wasn’t rotten in the city of brotherly love.