Officiating is once again the main topic of conversation following a highly entertaining game between two of the NFL's best teams. Where have we seen this before? Literally every Sunday during the season, unfortunately.
This time, it was the Dallas Cowboys who caught a break -- albeit after they were screwed themselves by Brad Allen's crew -- after the Detroit Lions potential game-winning two-point conversion was wiped out for an illegal touching.
Allen and his crew are facing the music. That would be an understatement, actually. Lions Twitter wants Allen himself to be fired, while esteemed reporters have made it known they don't want Allen officiating another game this season, playoffs included.
As it turns out, bullying works. Appearing on "Sunday NFL Countdown", ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Allen's crew is expected to be nixed for the upcoming playoffs.
Brad Allen to be nixed for NFL playoffs after controversial Cowboys-Lions ending
Nothing has been confirmed, but this needs to happen. Saturday was a disaster of historic proportions, and while the NFL generally doesn't take matter into its own hands in terms of downgrading refs, it certainly doesn't want its product to be bashed to the point nobody is talking about the actual game. That simply can't happen in the playoffs.
On the Lions' two-point attempt, Allen's crew ruled that Decker didn't report as eligible. Footage showed Allen announce to the stadium prior to the snap that No. 70 (Dan Skipper) reported as eligible, with no mention of Decker.
It's clear Allen saw Skipper report into the game and assumed he was the player reporting, when Decker actually gestured to the refs before the snap, seemingly to report as an eligible receiver. What else would he say?
What makes the gaffe even more egregious is the fact Lions head coach Dan Campbell revealed he ran this exact play and formation by Allen and his crew before the game. Campbell understood the trick play could cause confusion. He took the necessary precautions and Allen and Co. still botched it.
In the postgame pool report, Allen stuck by his call on the field, saying that it was Skipper, not Decker , who reported as an eligible receiver. In other words, Allen isn't falling on the sword and admitting to his mistake, which opens the door for fans to accuse him of lying on top of being a bad ref.
Time will tell if the NFL makes the right decision, but they owe it to coaches and players following Saturday's unnecessary controversy to remove Allen and his crew from consideration for playoff games.