The Dallas Cowboys have a tall task to beat the Philadelphia Eagles after they dug themselves a 28-17 deficit late in the third quarter. It was a surgical drive from Jalen Hurts, who's clearly playing banged up, but one that was aided by multiple Cowboys penalties.
The refs have largely let the Cowboys and Eagles play. They didn't throw a flag on a potential pass interference on Darius Slay, who was in coverage on CeeDee Lamb. That seemed to hint how the zebras would call the rest of the game.
Until they were faced with a similar predicament 15 minutes later when Stephon Gilmore appeared to impede A.J. Brown on a route. The contact was minimal, however, and it was clear Hurts was throwing the ball away.
The ball landed several yards out of bounds and out came the laundry. The refs gifted Hurts a fresh set of downs for throwing the ball away. A few completions and Cowboys penalties later, the Eagles extend their lead to 28-17.
Refs screw Cowboys with awful pass interference penalty on Stephon Gilmore
There's nothing wrong with calling it both ways, but Slay got away with almost the exact same penalty on the Cowboys' previous possession. The error is amplified by the fact that Hurts was throwing the ball away. It also happened on the same sideline where Lamb was held. How can you interfere on a pass that wasn't catchable? A.J. Brown seemingly gave up on the route.
Granted, the Cowboys defense hadn't come up with a big stop all game and could have allowed Philadelphia to score even if this call went their way. But that's not the point. This would have set up 3rd and 5. Who knows what happens in that scenario? Maybe the pass rush finally gets home and forces a punt.
These is all conjecture, but the double standard is infuriating This had been a clean, entertaining game between rivals. While the Eagles have been the better team, there was no reason for the refs to intervene on this play. Not only was the contact negligible, but the uncatchable argument was very much at play.
Awful call in a huge spot.