Refs gifted Packers a TD with awful missed DPI on Jaire Alexander interception

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

You really couldn't have scripted a worse start for the Dallas Cowboys. The defense can't get off the field on third down, while Mike McCarthy is back to calling 2nd and 10 runs to put the offense in third and longs.

The Packers extended their lead to 14-0 after Jaire Alexander intercepted Dak Prescott with the Cowboys pinned deep in their own territory.

Alexander returned the pick for a touchdown, but he was ruled down by contact before rushing for the score. On first watch, it looked like Alexander bullied Brandin Cooks and made a great play on the ball.

However, replays showed that Alexander mugged Cooks at the top of his route. While Alexander might have won the rep, he had a hold of Cooks' arm while he made the interception, which prevented the Cowboys WR from making a play on the ball.

Watch refs rob Cowboys of DPI on Brandin Cooks to set up easy Aaron Jones scor

Prescott put the ball where it needed to be. He obviously didn't anticipate Alexander pinning Cooks' left arm behind his body.

Could Cooks have done better to win the route? Sure, but there was more contact here than the DaRon Bland illegal contact penalty in the first quarter that negated a second-down sack and gave Green Bay a fresh set of downs.

The refs could have flagged Alexander for pass interference, but the Cowboys have little to complain about regarding the officiating. The team looks overwhelmed by the moment, while the Packers -- the NFL's youngest team -- are playing poised and complementary football. It's no surprise they lead by two touchdowns.

Not to mention, Micah Parsons already has drawn two holding penalties, which snapped his streak of 11 games without drawing a hold.

Mike McCarthy needs to stop coaching scared, CeeDee Lamb needs to stop dropping passes and the defense needs to string some stops together. The officiating helped Dallas dig a deeper hole to climb out of but make no mistake: the Packers are outplaying the Cowboys in all three phases right now.

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