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Replacement refs competent as Cowboys top Giants

Replacement referee Jim Core works the game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys during their NFL football game in East Rutherford Reuters

No, the NFL’s replacement officials were not perfect in Wednesday night’s regular-season opener. On an Eli Manning pass to Victor Cruz near the goal line, the officials missed what should have been a defensive holding penalty on the Cowboys, a missed call that may have cost the Giants four points in a game the Cowboys would win 24-17.

But the reality is, the regular officials miss defensive holding penalties, too. And by and large, the replacement officials were competent and effective on Wednesday night.

Jim Core, the head referee for the game, was apparently chosen for this marquee game because the NFL had more confidence in him than it had in any other replacement ref. He turned out to be the right choice: He ran the game efficiently and effectively, and communicated the calls well. Yes, there was one point when he said “clipping” but should have said “illegal block in the back,” but there were no lengthy delays as the officials huddled to discuss a call, no long replay reviews, no moments where you threw up your hands and questioned whether the officials knew what they were doing.

Maybe that’s a low bar, but after a preseason in which we wondered at times whether the NFL could find seven competent people to put in striped shirts and work a game, the big story regarding the officials is that they aren’t the story: The Cowboys and the Giants decided the outcome of this game, and the officials blended into the background. That’s how it should be.

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155 Responses to “Replacement refs competent as Cowboys top Giants”
  1. kjm18 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:42 PM

    The refs were really good. One terrible miss. You can’t say the regulars don’t do that. I was impressed.

  2. rikker12 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    The cowboys didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.

    -Osi Umenyiora

  3. kingcarlbanks says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    Good game Cowboy fans, they came to our house and gave it to us raw, Cant blame refs or injuries, the Cowboys got it by being the better team tonite.

  4. randyschwimmer7 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    What about the terrible missed holding calls that even Al and Chris pointed out. Those calls would have changed the game without a question.

  5. calizcowboyz says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS PAPER CHUMPS!
    AT YOUR HOUSE, WE OWN IT!

  6. davikes says: Sep 5, 2012 11:44 PM

    Not only were they competent, they were every bit as good as the greedy refs.

  7. joerevs300 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:44 PM

    Um, there was also:

    - A blown whistle, apparently to flag the Cowboys for 12 men on the field. Except the Giants didn’t snap the ball, and the only time that flag is thrown without a snap is when 12 men are in the offensive huddle.

    - The official spotting the ball, clearly for a first down, and then signaling 3rd down.

    - The aforementioned missed holding call.

    - Many other holding calls that were not called, especially one on Dallas holding Pierre-Paul in the 2nd Quarter.

    Here’s the problem. The NFL makes 3 BILLION. A YEAR.

    Yet, if the difference is only $80M for the life of a new deal with the regular officials, eventually since this was the BEST the NFL had to offer and they were serviceable at best, it would be a real shame if a team missed the playoffs by 1 game AFTER a deal was done because the replacement refs either make a bonehead call or miss a easy one.

  8. nyjets1017 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:45 PM

    They called this just as good if not better then regular refs.

  9. i10east says: Sep 5, 2012 11:45 PM

    Florio & MDS picks so far 0-1.

  10. bc01red says: Sep 5, 2012 11:45 PM

    Called a very good game. I thought the replacements would screw up big time but did a good job. Some missed calls but overall handled the spotlight well.

  11. sampulls says: Sep 5, 2012 11:46 PM

    Those were replacement refs?

  12. sabatimus says: Sep 5, 2012 11:46 PM

    The refs missed a holding call, in the endzone, in the first half against Dallas that would have resulted in half the distance to goal for the Giants. That’s the one I had a real beef with.

  13. sweepthleg says: Sep 5, 2012 11:46 PM

    I agree. Colinsworth was probably the best barometer of how the Refs were doing. He was snarky and critical during much of the first half with the job they were doing which I didn’t notice a difference. Then offering more praise as the game wore on and everyone realized that the refs are fine.

    They will blow some calls but overall they will get it right because the rule book they are using is the same as that the locked out Refs use.

    It’s not rocket science it Refereeing a football game.

  14. rcampore says: Sep 5, 2012 11:46 PM

    calizcowboyz says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS PAPER CHUMPS!
    AT YOUR HOUSE, WE OWN IT!

    __________________________________

    Actually buddy, we’ve owned your house since it’s opened and we still own our house along with the Lombardi.

    It’s one game and even with the Giants playing crap, we still only lost by 7. The Cowboys were definitely the better team this game.

  15. giantsfan2104 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    Props to Dallas. We got beat.
    Giants got beat on both sides of the ball. Can’t believe Martellus Bennett kept us in the game.

  16. bluebongzilla says: Sep 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    I guess when you guys said “no excuses” when you found out Witten was playing, you were joking. By the way, 13 penalties called on the Cowboys vs. 4 against the Giants. JUST SAYING.

  17. sabatimus says: Sep 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    And since when does clipping EVER look like a block in the back? The former was a personal foul, too, so that changed some field position.

  18. cowboys8819 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    @randyschwimmer7
    Quit your crying you sound like your coach at his post game conference! Not to mention y’all were holding Ware and it was not being called!

  19. tommy972 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:49 PM

    David Wilson was crying

  20. psdaleno says: Sep 5, 2012 11:49 PM

    wow. reading this article, it seemed like the author was grinding his teeth, not wanting to admit the refs did a great job. in the early days of this site, i loved it cause it was impartial. this was a great game. fun, smooth, no controversy (no matter how mutch PFT wants to stir it up).

  21. bigbaldpapahawk says: Sep 5, 2012 11:50 PM

    Cowboys didn’t beat a good team tonight. It looked like Amateur Hour in blue jerseys. Credit given though. Cowboys took advantage of all of it.

  22. jasons81 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:50 PM

    Excellent article! I’m sure Florio won’t agree though. I thought the officiating was on par with the regulars with the exception of them letting the DBs from both sides get away with more contact but I like that anyways. If I were the NFLRA I would start getting nervous.

  23. chatham10 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:50 PM

    I thought both Al and Chris were looking to jump on these refs and I don’t know why Al kept bringing up the fact the main ref was a school teacher because the refs in lockout also all have other jobs so I thought Al showed a lack of class. Were these guys perfect? No, but neither were the refs in past years. The lockout will end soon because the refs will not get paid and the NFL pays pretty good for a part time job.

  24. andrewfbrowne says: Sep 5, 2012 11:51 PM

    They were not bad, I thought it was nice that they were not afraid to make calls in 4th quarter. Also nice that most the comments were not about refs but trash talk between fans. Way it should be.

  25. shaggytoodle says: Sep 5, 2012 11:51 PM

    The first missed call, that was holding in the end zone, might have changed the way the game went.

    Not saying the regular refs don’t miss things, but just something I don’t think NFL wants to be dealing with in 6-8 weeks.

    Congrats to the Dallas, I didn’t have a rooting interest, but if recents trends hold. Cowboys could start hot, and the G-Men may be waiting til the last week of the season to squeeze into the playoffs.

  26. ceschatz says: Sep 5, 2012 11:52 PM

    Hahahaha. come on vagiant fans. bring on those excuses!

  27. itsmammoth says: Sep 5, 2012 11:53 PM

    lol @ Giants fans crying over penalties when Dallas had 13+ and still won.

  28. maximusprime107 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:53 PM

    There goes any leverage the delusional NFLRA thought they had

  29. jonevans83 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:56 PM

    Most lower league refs call clipping instead of block in the back. It’s basically the same penalty… guy blocks in the back.. and it saves time to call them all one thing instead of two. I said it off the bat, hmm haven”t ever heard a ref in the nfl call it clipping.. only hs refs etc… same thing, no big deal.

  30. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Sep 5, 2012 11:56 PM

    calizcowboyz says: Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS PAPER CHUMPS!
    AT YOUR HOUSE, WE OWN IT!

    ____

    LOL, you can tell it’s been a generation since this team’s fan based sniffed a Super Bowl. XLV doesn’t count.

  31. autumnwind999 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:58 PM

    I wish no ill-will to the regular refs, but it was clear that tonight’s crew did a very good job by any standard, including the regulars. Michaels, Collinsworth and the rest of the media are poised to pounce on these guys and they really had nothing to complain about. As Tony Dungy said during the Halftime Show, the missed holding on Cruz is an easy one to miss with five wides. It should’ve been a penalty, but it was a subtle, brief grab.

    I’d say regular refs typically miss several of those types of calls per game.

    Kudos to Collinsworth for honestly assessing their performance.

  32. vincentbojackson says: Sep 5, 2012 11:59 PM

    I wouldn’t have noticed the refs if Michaels and Collinsworth didn’t insist on pointing out they were replacements after every play.

    The guys did a solid job and it wasn’t the end of the world as all the media honks predicted.

  33. jhtobias says: Sep 6, 2012 12:00 AM

    Oh look Giant fan already bitching and complaining about the refs costing them a game. Gaint Fan & Lion fan need to shut the hell up it is to early in the season to cry like the stupid little babies you are…

  34. bradleyjames080 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:00 AM

    Is everyone remembering a different group of refs than me?? You know… The ones that can’t get coin flips correct, blow plays dead too early, and call phantom PI calls that change games?!? I’ve cursed at the regular refs far more than this group!!

  35. richndc says: Sep 6, 2012 12:01 AM

    Ladies, ladies. Every game there are bad calls. Only two bad ones here. The no hold/pass interference missed, and the drive sustaining roughing QB call (it was chintzy). I think they did a pretty good job. Some of you girls need to find new things to fuss about.

  36. andyreidsbuffet says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    Doesn’t matter, both teams looked like garbage. The Eagles will sweep the entire division, conference, finish 16-0, and finally beat Baltimore in the SuperBowl. Dynasty.

  37. jschwanny says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    And there was absolutely zero impact on player safety as a result of the replacements. Hopefully the union refs, and their shills in the media, will now stop throwing that red herring around.

  38. geniusfan says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    After all the bashing of the replacement refs they deserve more credit than being called “competent”.

    They were fine. Scratch that they were pretty darn good. Mike Pereira can say whatever he wants and so can the NFLRA but this is a huge feather in the league’s cap.

    Suddenly 200,000 dollars plus a well funded 401k doesn’t look so bad does it refs?

  39. vincentbojackson says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    sabatimus says:

    The refs missed a holding call, in the endzone, in the first half against Dallas that would have resulted in half the distance to goal for the Giants. That’s the one I had a real beef with.

    ———————

    I see your point, the regular refs never miss a call.

  40. mancave001 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    The refs were largely decent. Two missed PI calls come to mind, as well as the 12 man debacle.

    The game came down to a tired Giants’ defense and a horrific secondary.

  41. stfnwlf says: Sep 6, 2012 12:02 AM

    rikker12 says:
    Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM
    The cowboys didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.

    -Osi Umenyiora

    Yeah, Romo throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TDs meant nothing… or that Murray ran for over 100 yards. None of that mattered.

    Osi = the short-term effects of having too many concussions

  42. thcnote says: Sep 6, 2012 12:03 AM

    I can’t remember the last game I watched and didn’t see a ref go under the hood. Must be doing something right.

  43. ytsejamer1 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:03 AM

    I thought they did a darned good job out there. The head ref was clear and quick with letting us know what the penalty was.

    I thought they did a lot better than *SOME* folks were thinking they would. They didn’t take away from the game and also didn’t become a big part of the outcome of the game. Even at the end of the game, they kept up and did their jobs. They should be pleased with this crew. I tip my cap to them.

    I will say…Bill Polian is probably pulling his hair out with things happening in the defensive backfield but oh well…it’s football. The players did a good job and didn’t try anything they wouldn’t normally do.

  44. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 12:03 AM

    I hope Osi, Tuck and JPP get better soon because I don’t think the Giants can win if they have to miss next week’s game, too.

  45. kiopta1 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:04 AM

    Just picked up ogletree.

  46. dmartin17 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:05 AM

    Clipping is a block from the back, except it’s below the knee so it’s not that far off.

  47. dmartin17 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:06 AM

    I’ve said it many times on this site. These guys will be fine. We won’t miss the old refs one bit. There is a learning curve and they will adjust.

  48. benwobbles says: Sep 6, 2012 12:10 AM

    SCABS4LIFE

  49. sactogary says: Sep 6, 2012 12:10 AM

    Nice write-up, MDS. As critical as you’ve been, I appreciate you noting the refs’ decent work. This was probably the best crew, and they still made mistakes, but they really weren’t bad.

  50. bradleyjames080 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:11 AM

    One thing I noticed was that even though a fairly high number of flags were thrown, they were all blatantly obvious calls (delay of game, false starts, the holding calls). There may be a hesitancy to make the difficult call, but I LIKE that. Let the guys play and settle it on the field. Far too often the regular refs will make a tight call, get it wrong, and affect the outcome. I mean how many times in the past has the head of refs had to issue an apology to a team for basically costing them the game. FAR too often!!

  51. jasons81 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:12 AM

    As for the “NFL makes plenty of money and should just pay the refs” argument that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. And employees pay is not based on what the company makes but rather what the market sets. Let’s say you’re a receptionist at a company that makes $100 billion a year… since that company has such a high revenue does that mean you should make $1 million a year? Hell no! So on that point I agree with the NFL and disagree with the socialists.

  52. starfan79 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:13 AM

    Besides the crappy first half it was a good game. The second half started looking more like football game.. And I’m not talking about the refs, talking about the players..

  53. charism4 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:14 AM

    Guess we know which of the last two champs was really the better team…

    Apparently third was too high in the power rankings. Forget about first.

  54. autumnwind999 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:15 AM

    joerevs300 says:Sep 5, 2012 11:44 PM

    Um, there was also:

    - A blown whistle, apparently to flag the Cowboys for 12 men on the field. Except the Giants didn’t snap the ball, and the only time that flag is thrown without a snap is when 12 men are in the offensive huddle.

    - The official spotting the ball, clearly for a first down, and then signaling 3rd down.

    - The aforementioned missed holding call.

    - Many other holding calls that were not called, especially one on Dallas holding Pierre-Paul in the 2nd Quarter.

    ——————————

    Come on. Very nickel-dime stuff. Yes, the new refs maybe aren’t as confident or polished as the regulars at some of the basics of managing the game. That’s clear. But there’s not much you list there that had any real impact on the game whatsoever. And if you look at most games the regular refs do you can identify a far greater number of missed and erroneous calls that actually affect the outcome.

    Take it from me, a Raiders fan, who watched a regular ref — with the benefit of about 5-10 mins of slow-motion replay review — blow the call of an obvious fumble by Tom Brady about a decade ago in the snow in New England. That atrocious call by a regular ref not only changed the outcome of that playoff game, but a team that should’ve been eliminated went on to win the Super Bowl that year.

    Yes, the replacement refs could still be a disaster and Sunday and Monday could quickly change everything. But tonight the refs did a solid job.

  55. beerbudsnbevo says: Sep 6, 2012 12:16 AM

    Um, there was also:

    - A blown whistle, apparently to flag the Cowboys for 12 men on the field. Except the Giants didn’t snap the ball, and the only time that flag is thrown without a snap is when 12 men are in the offensive huddle.

    - The official spotting the ball, clearly for a first down, and then signaling 3rd down.

    - The aforementioned missed holding call.

    - Many other holding calls that were not called, especially one on Dallas holding Pierre-Paul in the 2nd Quarter.

    Here’s the problem. The NFL makes 3 BILLION. A YEAR.

    Yet, if the difference is only $80M for the life of a new deal with the regular officials, eventually since this was the BEST the NFL had to offer and they were serviceable at best, it would be a real shame if a team missed the playoffs by 1 game AFTER a deal was done because the replacement refs either make a bonehead call or miss a easy one.

    *************************

    Democrat

  56. lowriderfxr says: Sep 6, 2012 12:17 AM

    The refs missed a pic on the G men which gave them a first down. All in all the refs didnt decide the game, the players did. Good job Cowboys!

  57. marcg1957 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:19 AM

    They missed a holding call, in the endzone, in the first half against Dallas on Victor Cruz that could have resulted in 1st & 10 on the 1-yard line for Giants

  58. dawsonleery says: Sep 6, 2012 12:21 AM

    I think overall the replacement officials did a good job with the season opener.

  59. shinywalrus says: Sep 6, 2012 12:24 AM

    A major miss on both sides – Scandrick clearly held near the goal line, and the Giants clearly set an illegal pick on one of their longest completions.

    The Cowboys got flagged a lot more, but honestly (as a Cowboys fan) it’s hard to argue that most weren’t legitimate penalties.

    Two big misses, one to each team? I’d take that and run with it most Sundays.

  60. denverdave3 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:26 AM

    This ought to teach the holdouts a lesson. Get your butt back to work. It’s a part-time job and you can be replaced.

  61. imjinbrdgr says: Sep 6, 2012 12:30 AM

    Well I’m sure the NFL trotted out the best they had for a game the whole country was watching. Lets hold judgement until we see how all the rest of them do this weekend.

  62. rc33 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:37 AM

    I thougth Dallas got a bad spot on the 3rd down catch prior to the Giants stopping the Fullback and turning the ball over on 4th. Other than that and the aforementioned stuff, pretty good job.

  63. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:39 AM

    I think the replacement refs are just as qualified and did just as good of job as the greedy oldman scum union ref!!! I hope the nfl fires the old ones and keeps the scabs!!! its nice to see youth on the field thats.willing to work and train to keep there jobs!!! hail to the replacements good job!

  64. onecoolrdrfan says: Sep 6, 2012 12:39 AM

    SCABS and not worth the powder to blow to hell. Scab workers are cutting everyones throat. You job could be next.

  65. woodsvikes says: Sep 6, 2012 12:41 AM

    Sure the Refs were good for THIS game. Nationally televised, 1st game of the year. NY market (biggest)/Dallas market (most famous). Hmmm I wonder if they thought… “Hey, lets make sure we have the best of the bunch on Wednesday night!” Just wait until you see the lesser games. Then we’ll see what type of officiating we get from these guys.

  66. calizcowboyz says: Sep 6, 2012 12:42 AM

    ok, sorry. gee wizz you guys almost beat us at your house. we had 13 penalties and still where lucky to win. golly gee wizz good game.

    NOT! EAT IT, LIVE IT, DEAL WITH IT!
    AS I SAID, NEW TEAM, NEW PLAYERS, NEW YEAR, FULL OFF SEASON!

    “you said….” carr sucks, claiborne is a rook, your oline is terrible. BUT NOW you want to back out and
    act like nothing happened? !!!!!!!! HA!

    Your not getting off that easy! Cruz = ONE YEAR WONDER! PROVEN! Claiborne Carr = Shutdown!

  67. natethegreatz says: Sep 6, 2012 12:43 AM

    If the Giants want to know why they lost, look no further the Cruz’s key drops and Wilson’s Fumble (and tears on the sideline). It was a good game but my hat goes off to Romo. After all of those Holding & False Start fouls… He made first downs and TDS

  68. macgyver826 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:43 AM

    Jerry Jones would have squealed like an 8 year old girl if that PI had happened to Romo on his first TD.

    No PI, and the Giants have a TD. BTW, it took a horse collar to keep the Giants out of the endzone before that play.

    That PI was when the momentum changed. A Giants TD and the Boyz would have been playing catchup.

    And no, I’m not a Giants fan by a long shot.

  69. 1977rich says: Sep 6, 2012 12:44 AM

    Props to the refs! Other than that one call on the goal line, they let them play the game! I missed this nfl…..

  70. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:46 AM

    “Um, there was also:

    - A blown whistle, apparently to flag the Cowboys for 12 men on the field. Except the Giants didn’t snap the ball, and the only time that flag is thrown without a snap is when 12 men are in the offensive huddle.

    - The official spotting the ball, clearly for a first down, and then signaling 3rd down.

    - The aforementioned missed holding call.

    - Many other holding calls that were not called, especially one on Dallas holding Pierre-Paul in the 2nd Quarter.”

    @joerevs300

    Seen the regular officials do the same thing with 12 men on the field and just barely getting one off quite a few times, same with the spot and down mixup, same with far far worse holding calls 3′ in front of the regular refs and they do nothing.

    Regular refs often let many holding calls go as well, some crews just let the teams play and call very little including a lot of blatant stuff.

    In other words, replacement officials = no worse then regular officials.

  71. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:50 AM

    Competent??? How many blatant holding calls were missed again???

  72. txbossman says: Sep 6, 2012 12:51 AM

    I’m surprised. That was remarkably fair.

    I agree.

    There was a blow call, but, it did not mean the game. The game moved crisply, and was enjoyable to watch.

    Uh oh.

  73. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:52 AM

    Cowboys fans saying there was only one blown call are hilarious. Even IF we had won, I would be admitting it, if the calls had actually benefited us, and not led to 40% of Dallas’ total yardage.

  74. puresickness12 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:55 AM

    “Oh sh*t”

    -NFLRA

  75. diablito0402 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:58 AM

    Whats with all the giants fans crying about the refs, giants got whooped tonight, accept it and move on, cowboys got flagged 12 times to giants 4, take the A$$ Spanking and got home..

  76. monsterright says: Sep 6, 2012 12:58 AM

    @bluebongzilla

    Good point. The Cowboys need to cut down on their violations.

  77. burnttoast71854 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:59 AM

    What about when the cowboys sacked Eli at the 40 & they marked at the 36. 13 flags cowboys 4 giants please.

  78. danbo3330 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:00 AM

    Lots of missed calls on holding BOTH ways all game. The corners got away with murder all night and we’ll never know if it would / wouldn’t have made any difference to the final score.

    Boys looked better than all expected and took it to the champs in their own house.

  79. burnttoast71854 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:01 AM

    Sorry 40 yard line marked it at the 44

  80. nodindenver says: Sep 6, 2012 1:01 AM

    The refs did just fine; G men just choked on banner night. Plain and simple! Nicks should have set out because he did little to nothing in this game and JPP should hit the cold tub himself!!!!!

  81. gotohellredskins says: Sep 6, 2012 1:06 AM

    giants fans the biggest whiny b*tches when everything isn’t handed to them. the real refs suck just as much, they all are terrible. there were plenty of missed calls on the giants as well but you just asoon forget about those. how bout you stop the run in the 2nd half, or quit letting Olgeltree kick your ass. shut up & go to bed. your team will be just fine.

  82. sdsockers says: Sep 6, 2012 1:07 AM

    Yes, these Replacement Ref’s were competent, and missed very few calls, and for the most part, kept the game moving well (a frequent complaint against the RRs during the preseason). But, this was the first game of the season, in New Freaking York, on national television. One has to think that Goodell trotted out the best group of RRs to this stage, to make the best impression possible.
    My Chargers play at the Raiders on Sunday. I doubt whether that RR group will be as smooth as what we saw tonight.

  83. mwindle1973 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:13 AM

    Too bad they couldn’t ref all 13 games this Sunday!

  84. gadzod says: Sep 6, 2012 1:23 AM

    I’m sick and tired of Cowboys fans. They always complain about Romo. As a Bills fan, I wish that “bum” as I hear Cowboys fans say was on my roster. I would LOVE to have a 4,100 31TD 10INT Quarterback. I wish they would just shut up and watch him work, and then stick around to watch that atrocious defense work. Eli was bad tonight. If Eli played well tonight, Dallas’ would have been shredded. Claiborne definitely looked like a rookie tonight and Carr looked like he was highly overpaid. Great win for Murray and Tony Romo. They deserve it, but Cowboys fans that talk trash on Romo, does not.

  85. dbarnes79 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:27 AM

    Yeah I watched the whole game and I thought the refs did really well. Missed calls happen with regular refs too.

  86. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Sep 6, 2012 1:29 AM

    @sabatimus

    You’re stupid. And your comment is stupid.

  87. mjkelly77 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:32 AM

    The new refs were as good as the greedy part-timers who are now sitting at home.

  88. davekezer says: Sep 6, 2012 1:33 AM

    I thought the Giants would have won easily, but I was impressed with the Cowboys’ play. There was only one play that I thought was completely missed by the refs (the P.I. against Cruz in the endzone), but on the average, there are 1 or 2 a game with normal refs, so I can’t get too mad.

    Overall, a good game, and even with the excessive “Romo is a hero” coverage, he stood up to it with some great passes, especially to Ogletree. Just shows that the NFL is up for grabs for anyone. Welcome back everyone. Gotta love this.

  89. jaggedmark says: Sep 6, 2012 1:49 AM

    At least for this game, the replacements did a good job. Couple things missed (like the regulars do), but otherwise, couldn’t really tell a difference.

  90. denverbronconj says: Sep 6, 2012 1:52 AM

    For those who favor giving in to the demands of the refs, let’s consider this…suppose you work full time at a corp and you get a 401k for your retirement. Your boss hires part a time cleaning crew to clean your cubicle at night and instead of giving them a 401k, he gives them a fully guaranteed pension plan and pays them more than you. Does that sound fair? How do you think the lower level full time employees at the NFL feel?

  91. denverbronconj says: Sep 6, 2012 1:57 AM

    Remember, refs do not generate revenue like the players, they are a necessary cost, like having security at a game. NFL is a business, ran by billionaires who own other businesses.

  92. norrismen says: Sep 6, 2012 2:00 AM

    Great game!

  93. japmen says: Sep 6, 2012 2:09 AM

    Wow, I guess that’s the new excuse when you lose now. It was the scab refs fault we lost! Just a 13 to 4 difference in calls and the Cowboys looked better most of the game. I’m not even a Cowbiys fan and I knew the better team for tonight. Show some class,=.

    Oh, and the refs did a good job. I didnt see any difference. I think they even called a few the old refs would have missed. Lots of pressure and they succeeded. Time to make these guys the new standard and leave the part time overpaid buffoons at home.

  94. 4d9erdynasty says: Sep 6, 2012 2:16 AM

    The refs did miss a couple calls but so does the regular refs. I thought they did a good job. The issue is that Roger Goodell and the NFL chose the most competent refs to do the job on a nationally televised season opener game. As we all have seen in the preseason all the crews are not as competent as this crew was tonight. The NFL knew this game was going to be scrutinized by everyone so they brought the best in for tonight. whats going to happen come sunday?

  95. havok82 says: Sep 6, 2012 2:38 AM

    I thought they did fine. No worse than the “real” refs anyway.

    As much as it pains me, Dallas won the game more than anything else. Cruz had stone hands and the DB’s are crap. If the line isn’t getting to the QB, the Giants are sunk this year.

    The Cowboys tried to lose it, too, with 13 penalties. If not for that, it might have been a real blowout.

  96. nomesayin says: Sep 6, 2012 2:45 AM

    WoW! The Cowboys looked really good. On the road, with a shaky OL, they really deserved the victory.

    Jerry Jones’ endorsement of the replacement refs has been quite open. Tonight, the cowboys seemed to have at least 1 penalty per possession…& the officials’ calls were right, with the legit flags…AND the cowbs STILL won!

    It kinda seemed like the cowboy OL were determined to cheat, believing that the replacements wouldn’t be able to catch everything. The cowboys won in spite of themselves.

    I thought that the officials did a good job.

  97. nyg4life says: Sep 6, 2012 2:51 AM

    calizcowboyz September 5, 2012, 9:43 PM MDT

    SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS PAPER CHUMPS! AT YOUR HOUSE, WE OWN IT!

    Paper champs? lmao!!!! How many times have you beat us in your new stadium?

  98. linvillegorge says: Sep 6, 2012 3:05 AM

    I wanted to clown the hell out of them, but honestly they weren’t awful. Sure, they missed a couple and made a couple of bad ones, but that happens in every game no matter how good the refs. The bottom line is that they didn’t impact the outcome of the game. I thought they did pretty well, as much as I wanted them to make an ass of themselves.

  99. longislandcowboysfan says: Sep 6, 2012 3:20 AM

    Minor thing, but he used the wrong signals for the delay of game. He crossed his arms across his chest rather than placing one on top of the other.

  100. warrenpeacephotography says: Sep 6, 2012 3:32 AM

    I get being indifferent about the refs, but why are so many commenters here so hardcore AGAINST the real refs?

  101. cali49er707 says: Sep 6, 2012 4:21 AM

    Cowboys looked real GOOD but, the Giants will be heard from again before it’s all done!!!

  102. randallflagg52 says: Sep 6, 2012 4:24 AM

    I’m a bystander in this “rivalry” but I have to say I thought the playclock ran out on Dallas a couple of times, and they didn’t get flagged. Just my 2 cents.

  103. fanz928 says: Sep 6, 2012 4:24 AM

    The refs were solid and cowboys beat giants fair and square this game wasn’t that close so don’t try to blame it on the refs

  104. joetoronto says: Sep 6, 2012 5:03 AM

    That sound you hear is the wind coming out of the sails of the regular officials.

  105. nokoolaidcowboy says: Sep 6, 2012 5:16 AM

    Last night proves that on any given night, one team can beat the other.

    Glad the Cowboys made adjustments to win. Good game. But just one game none the less.

  106. nokoolaidcowboy says: Sep 6, 2012 5:29 AM

    calizcowboyz says:
    Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM
    SHOW YOUR TRUE COLORS PAPER CHUMPS!
    AT YOUR HOUSE, WE OWN IT!
    —————————————————–

    This is what I hate more than the Giants, Eagles or Redskins…

    Other Cowboys fans. They don’t know how to win with class or when to shut up. Dude, you are calling the defending SB Champs “paper chumps”?

    Our Cowboys have much to prove. Shut your pie hole!

  107. 4d9erdynasty49 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:30 AM

    The refs did miss a couple calls but so does the regular refs. I thought they did a good job. The issue is that Roger Goodell and the NFL chose the most competent refs to do the job on a nationally televised season opener game. As we all have seen in the preseason all the crews are not as competent as this crew was tonight. The NFL knew this game was going to be scrutinized by everyone so they brought the best in for tonight. whats going to happen come sunday?

  108. robholiday says: Sep 6, 2012 6:32 AM

    What none of you are mentioning, is that this ref. team was hand picked for this showcase game. Wait till all of the other teams play this weekend. Then we will know how bad the replacements really are.

  109. jbniner says: Sep 6, 2012 6:37 AM

    People need to get over themselves with respect to the referees. They did a fine job last night. If an entire fleet of ATC’s can be fired without anyone dying, the world (and the NFL) will go on just fine with replacement refs.

  110. homerx says: Sep 6, 2012 6:40 AM

    I’m not sure what game you guys were watching but there were 2 blown pass interference calls, one in the endzone and numerous missed holding calls.

  111. chrisdacommish says: Sep 6, 2012 6:54 AM

    I particularly enjoyed the holding call on Dallas when they were trying to run the clock down at the end of the game. That hold negated a first down, and put the Cowboys in a 3rd & long situation. That meant Romo had to pass to get the first down, which he did, and most important of all, put him over 300yds passing in the game, thus securing a 10pt bonus for my FF QB.

  112. ralphwilsonphillips says: Sep 6, 2012 7:06 AM

    to the giants fans crying in their beer and the locked out refs i offer these sage words….

    Don’t you know things can change
    Things’ll go your way
    If you hold on for one more day
    Can you hold on for one more day
    Things’ll go your way
    Hold on for one more day

  113. fushezzi says: Sep 6, 2012 7:16 AM

    The best thing I can say about the refs is that I didn’t notice them. I’m sure there was some chatter by the announcers throughout the game but with a whiny baby and a nagging wife, I was basically watching the game without sound.

  114. cereal blogger says: Sep 6, 2012 7:28 AM

    Excellent job by the refs. Recall we are often b & moaning about their alleged superiors….its not rocket science

  115. bangitfootball says: Sep 6, 2012 7:50 AM

    If the weekend games go like last night the other refs will have to come back and take whatever they can get.

  116. sj39 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:55 AM

    Anyone see the “real” Head Coach of the Boys on Dead Spin yelling at Eli to “go for it f*&k face!” on fourth and goal? It’s pretty good.

  117. Giantspunk213 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:57 AM

    As a giants fan i have no problem saying we got beat. The secondary was constantly burned, Victor Cruz couldn’t catch a cold and the defense wore down late. The score doesn’t really reflect the game because anyone that watched would’ve seen the cowboys owned that game. Now it’s time to regroup and use this embarrassing loss as a learning experience.

  118. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 7:59 AM

    “Overall, a good game, and even with the excessive “Romo is a hero” coverage”

    It was no more excessive than the slobbering over Manning and Cruz before the game started. I thought Michaels and Collinsworth were biased toward the Giants.

    And you can choke on it, Rodney Harrison.

  119. m2karateman says: Sep 6, 2012 8:17 AM

    Those of you who are complaining about missed holding calls and the missed PI call either don’t watch football, are overzealous Giants fans, or are union slappies just looking to find something to complain about.

    The regular officials miss calls ALL THE TIME! They screw up and, though rarely, sometimes cost teams the game because of it.

    And some of you (and you know who you are) that are complaining about these refs are the same ones who for the past few years have been complaining about the officiating from the union officials.

    FACE IT! These officials that worked Wednesday night did a really good job. Some holds were called, some were missed. A couple mistakes (12 men on field, signaled 3rd down when it was 1st down), but they were corrected quickly and the regular officials do that on occasion as well.

    I have been critical of some of the officiating being done during the pre-season, but this crew did a really good job.

  120. packhawk04 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:27 AM

    Excellent game last night. It gets really old that pft, nbc, espn, are all trying SO HARD to make the replacement refs look bad, when in reality they are every bit as good as the regular refs.

  121. shaunypoo says: Sep 6, 2012 8:29 AM

    It was only one game, but the refs did fine. Nothing that doesn’t get missed on a regular basis in any other NFL game.

    The Cowboys looked more polished and prepared, that was the difference, not the refs.

  122. conormacleod says: Sep 6, 2012 8:37 AM

    Like I said before the game, I’m glad for LESS defensive holding calls. Let the players play some football!

  123. shirsc2 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:38 AM

    So the Giants lost week 1. Who cares? The last time I checked, they also lost their first week the last 2 times they won the Superbowl.

    The NFL isn’t a 1 game schedule.

  124. mike83ri says: Sep 6, 2012 8:39 AM

    So if the replacement refs do a bad job, the NFLRA says they should be benched for better guys. But if the NFLRA refs do a bad job, it’s not fair that they would be benched?

  125. eagleswin says: Sep 6, 2012 8:43 AM

    fushezzi says:
    Sep 6, 2012 7:16 AM
    The best thing I can say about the refs is that I didn’t notice them. I’m sure there was some chatter by the announcers throughout the game but with a whiny baby and a nagging wife, I was basically watching the game without sound.

    ——————————————-

    That would’ve been the best way to watch it. It was 50% commentary and 50% making fun of the replacement refs by the announcers in the first half.

    I hope the network was embarrassed (probably not) by the people they pay making a bigger issue of the refs than the game itself in the first half. It was the way you might talk to your buddy before the game off camera if you really felt that way but to go on a national broadcast and spend an hour poking fun at the officals and waiting for the big mistake so you can laugh tell everyone i told you so was pretty disgusting.

    The second half commentary was much better if only because they realized that the refs hadn’t made the “big mistake”. Heaven help the refs if they ever do because the last thing the announcers wanted to talk about was the game.

  126. vietnambob2473 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:44 AM

    One problem, these were the best of the replacement refs because the nfl didn’t want a farce on opening night on national television. What happens the rest of the weekend when the other games are played and the refs cost a team a win?

  127. flyiton says: Sep 6, 2012 8:46 AM

    I think they did a great job Hell they even got the coin toss right!!!!

  128. tmac4454 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:47 AM

    Giants got beat many times by Romo scrambling and secondary stunk up the place. Where was V Cruz? He did not even show up for his salsa dance. OMG, I am so crushed after all the bragging I did on the Giants. I wished I had a broom, I would beat some sense into that defense I bragged about. Cmon Giants, you are better than that. I am a true Cowgirl hater.

  129. charlutes says: Sep 6, 2012 8:50 AM

    I really like the guy announcing calls, he had an entertaining way of doing it. I agree, very strong refereeing considering the microscope they were under.

  130. trollhammer20 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:58 AM

    The league chose the best of the replacements for last night’s game, so it had the lowest chance of a screwup.

    They’ll leave the really bad ones to do games like Seattle @ Arizona. Smaller fanbases means it’s less likely a mob with pitchforks and torches shows up at league HQ in NYC.

  131. cshearing says: Sep 6, 2012 9:15 AM

    I am pretty shocked that no one has even mentioned the false start penalty called against the Cowboys’ defense. I know it was really offside, but an article about the refs’ performance does not even mention it?

  132. ceschatz says: Sep 6, 2012 9:17 AM

    I love how everybody keeps bringing up the Vic cruz holding that was missed. Lets say they called it and they got the touchdown. Its only 4 more points than you had. Cowboys still win. Lame excuses

  133. linemanguy74 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:18 AM

    Boys win 1 game and their fans have them in the SB

  134. tackledummy1505 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:26 AM

    The refs were ok at best, but there was a lot of holding on both sides of the ball. It seem like the players were doing it a lot more because they’re replacement refs. I mean there was at least 5 plays where Pierre-Paul was held so bad I thought the lineman was trying to steal his jersey to put in his house for keep safe. Don’t worry this weekend will be the showcase not last night

  135. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 9:29 AM

    Giantspunk213 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:57 AM

    “As a giants fan i have no problem saying we got beat.”

    That’s pretty magnanimous of you, given the scoreboard.

  136. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 9:35 AM

    shirsc2 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:38 AM

    “So the Giants lost week 1. Who cares? The last time I checked, they also lost their first week the last 2 times they won the Superbowl. ”

    Yeah but both of those games were on the road.

  137. kws767 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:35 AM

    IMHO, it sure was nice to watch an NFL game and not have to worry about all these “phantom” holding, pass interference, and roughing the passer penalties being called on every other play. I really believe that last night’s game was more enjoyable with the the replacement refs at the helm. GREAT job guys !

  138. elvoid says: Sep 6, 2012 9:56 AM

    They were fine. All you guys talking about this or that blown call? Yeah, right – the “veteran” officials NEVER blew a call, did they?

    Sheesh.

  139. nebster21 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:59 AM

    With a statement like that I am surprised that Florio has not fired you or the Refs had you offed. Seems like anyone that talks like the back up refs are competent they are no longer heard from. At least any media people.

  140. holeinone09 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:08 AM

    I thought the replacement refs did a decent job last night overall. Calls are missed in every game. If the replacement refs have the same reasonably competent performance in the rest of the games, I expect the regular refs will crumble and be back at work by week 3. But if the replacement refs start to make more and larger errors, then I expect the owners to crumble and the regular refs will be back to work by week 3.

    In any event, look for the regular refs to be back by week 3, and some the replacement refs will likely have jobs as regular refs sitting on the bench waiting for their chance.

  141. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 6, 2012 10:26 AM

    Who needs these money worshipers, greedy capitalist pigs regular referees.

    These enemies of the fans need to be fired!

  142. bigbluefan1 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:29 AM

    Yes the Giants 6 game win streak was broken last night hats off the the cowboys

    But lets remember this is only week one and the redskins beat the Giants twice last year and where were they Super bowl Sunday.

    The one bad thing about the refs is they are slow to make a call and restart the game this takes the teams out of there natural rythem.

    The Giants stunk last night but again it was week one not a playoff game

  143. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 10:32 AM

    “I mean there was at least 5 plays where Pierre-Paul was held so bad I thought the lineman was trying to steal his jersey to put in his house for keep safe.”

    Yeah Ware was held quite a bit too, but he didn’t get frustrated, he didn’t cry to the refs. He just kept cool, stuck with his assignments and got his 2 sacks and was a major factor in the game while JPP/Osi/Tuck combined for -0- with much whining after the play and were virtually invisible. I hope Kiwanuka’s butt is ok after getting knocked on it about 3 yards downfield, Demarco Murray hit him pretty hard on that long run.

  144. cowboylover says: Sep 6, 2012 10:52 AM

    Are my husband and I the only two people on earth who saw Coe take a swing at Romo’s head? Was this a simultaneous hallucination or did anyone else see that? Haven’t heard one mention of it! Great game Cowboys!

  145. al40110 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:55 AM

    I thought the refs did a fine job. Sure they missed some calls, but no more than the “reg” refs. And it was nice to see no flags for things that really had no bearing on the play. Let the players play the game as much as possible. Here’s hoping the remaining games go as well as this one did.

  146. mogogo1 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:59 AM

    I’d be scared if I were a regular ref. The replacements looked indistinguishable from regular refs last night. If they can make it through the weekend without any huge gaffes, it’s all over.

    The entire problem for the regular refs is they spent far more time thinking they were great than actually working on their craft. I got sick of hearing how they didn’t want to give up their day jobs to be full-time refs–talk about a lack of commitment. And they blow calls and get confused about the rules just like what occasionally happens to the replacement refs.

  147. footballchic777 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:05 AM

    I was actually pleasantly surprised at the flow of the game and the job that the refs did. Yes, the call on the goal line was missed, but EVERY game has missed calls by ALL refs. I love football! I really thought the Giants would have this game in hand, but they never did. The Cowboys just outplayed them last night, which totally surprised me. I hope they can sustain it throughout the season, and not because I am a Cowboys fan, because I am a Bengals fan, but because I would much rather see competitive football throughout ALL divisions, than beatdowns or implosions! Thanks for a great game Cowboys and Giants!

  148. bringingthepain says: Sep 6, 2012 11:09 AM

    What? Those were replacement refs? And the head ref was a science teacher for an 8th grade school? What. didn’t know that. OH WAIT, yes I did, because the 2 boobs announcing said it every penalty. They were fine, Move On.

    And cowboys fans, I am a huge Cowboy fan, show some class. The reason I bought a bar is so I can go watch a cowboy game and not have to be embarrassed by your stupid actions. I have true Cowboy fans at my place, that have class.

  149. nygiantstones says: Sep 6, 2012 11:12 AM

    I saw at least 3 bad calls against the Giants, and I’d like to see replays on the multitude of false starts called against the Cowboys. The refs took too long to make some calls, the main ref was fat and sounded like a high school ref when announcing the penalties, he seemed unsure and didn’t enunciate with authority. And the people saying Collinsworth is the barometer? Yeah right, by halftime, Goodell had gotten on the phone to the TV executives and reminded them who’s product this was. I guarantee there was a producer in Collinsworth’s ear telling him to shut up about the refs.
    Cowboys get the win because of injuries and fatigue hitting the Giants, but let’s be honest, this was like seeing a beauty contest where the girl with one eye beats out the girl with a cleft lip.

  150. kebija says: Sep 6, 2012 11:26 AM

    For all those saying that they had the best RR’s out there for a prime-time game, no duh! The NFL always puts the best they have out there in these types of games. If it had been the regulars I am sure you would have seen Ed Hochuli (sp?) and his crew out there.

    Will the rest of the refs do as good as these ones? I don’t know but this was a well officiated game, and less screaming about calls than past games I have watched. Some of these replacements may have just made themselves regulars.

    I am glad we are finally back to football.

  151. wicky888 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:35 AM

    Can any of you honestly say that you would have even noticed they were replacement refs had you not known? Those guys did great, considering experience, two big market teams, season opener, national TV and prime time.

  152. rabidbillsfan says: Sep 6, 2012 11:50 AM

    @nygiantsstone

    What were the bad calls? The only glaring call that was missed was the holding in the endzone. The clipping vs. the block in the back actually GAVE the Giants better field position. The Giants couldn’t beat a Cowboys team who commited atleast 7 procedural fouls, that’s football basics people. Sure, the Giants were banged up, but I really don’t think it mattered. You were gifted the ball on the 2 after the pick, you should have scored on your first 2 tries. Cruz must have had his popcorn before the game. Blame the officials all you want, but it looked like they were favoring the superbowl champs more than anything, if they favored any team at all. Wait until Witten comes back, that Dallas team could really turn some heads this season. Overall, it was an enjoyable game. Outside of the new faces, I could hardly tell they were replacement officials. Giants fans need to own that their team layed an egg last night, and just hope every game isn’t like the one we saw end 12 hours ago.

  153. bluebongzilla says: Sep 6, 2012 12:01 PM

    Yeah I saw Coe punch Romo on the head too. No call but no problem, he just kept up with the gameplan (unlike Eli, who looked like he might give birth to a litter of full-grown bobcats right there in the middle of the field after a ticky-tacky non-call on Scandrick on Cruz).

  154. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 6, 2012 12:59 PM

    I didn’t like every call in the game by any means but overall I like the replacement refs and am ready to drop the disparaging term for them.

    It seems to me they tend to not call every little tiny thing which the regular officials seem to do. It slows and drags the game down and most would like to see things get settled by the players on the field.

  155. n0hopeleft says: Sep 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    I love to see the habitual NFC East fans on here pouring it on the Giants.

    Jealousy is a female emotion.

    Dont be too mad we won 2 of the last 5, while your trophy case hasnt had an update since you were in strollers (or ever, Eagles fans)

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