Sept. 26, 2010; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of an NFL yellow penalty flag on the field during the game between the Arizona Cardinals against the Oakland Raiders at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Dallas Cowboys’ offense did just well enough to win on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but when are we going to see some discipline on the offensive line when it comes to false starts? At some point, these guys ought to become comfortable enough working together that the communication issues, or whatever is causing these penalties, goes away.
Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later. As aggravating as holding penalties can be, they are sometimes understandable, like when trying to keep your quarterback from taking a big hit. But false starts don’t fall into that category. Jason Witten was the culprit on two of the false starts and also dropped a couple more passes at inopportune times. If he is still ailing from the spleen injury, shouldn’t we just let him get well before throwing him back into the fire?And we can’t talk about flags without talking about the replacement refs. They are on top of false starts, encroachment and holding penalties and sometimes they get pass interference right, but this is the second week in a row that a Cowboys’ player has taken a helmet to helmet hit with nothing called.
These are game changing situations, either due to a player leaving the game with a concussion or at least the 15 yard change in field position due to the team responsible for the infraction being rightfully punished. And, in some cases, a severe injury due to such a hit can change a team’s whole season.
My take on it is this. You have likely heard that some of these replacement refs have indicated they are fans of particular teams, and/or that they have a fantasy football team. As a result, they find themselves officiating NFL games and they are in awe. So, like many fans watching NFL games, they are watching the ball. They might as well get them a chair, because if they are watching like a fan, they are missing things that happen away from the ball.
What’s up with the ref throwing his hat in the end zone causing Kevin Ogletree to slip? It kept the Cowboys from scoring a likely touchdown and we are fortunate that it didn’t cause an injury to Ogletree. I still don’t know why he threw it, but I think a banana peel would have been funnier.
Aug 9, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; NFL referee Shannon Eastin (left) during a game between the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers at Qualcomm Stadium. Eastin is the first female referee to ever ref a game in the NFL. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Let’s look at the big picture here. The money the league pays the refs pales in comparison to what the players are paid. So why is the NFL letting money squabbles between them and the official refs put their product at risk? Their product, to a large extent, is the players and serious injury is being risked by these players when they step on the field with the way the replacements are calling the games.
In addition to the aforementioned helmet to helmet non calls is all of the fighting they are allowing to go on after the play. Something’s got to give. It’s time to get make the deal to get the real refs back and tell these subpar excuses for game officials to take a hike.
It’s a shame that Barry Church is lost for the season and I wish him a speedy recovery. But, if any part of the team is capable of losing a key player, it’s the defense. They played well against the Buccaneers, no doubt helped by the fact that Tampa didn’t seem to want to win the game until after the two minute warning before the end of the game. However, I’m hoping that Gerald Sensabaugh is back by Monday night for the game with the Chicago Bears.