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Pereira: Officials wrongly gave Victor Cruz a TD on incomplete pass

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

No one knows what constitutes a catch in the NFL anymore.

When the “Calvin Johnson rule” reared its ugly head again on Sunday, and the Lions’ star receiver had a touchdown catch overturned by the referee after reviewing the replay, it looked like the NFL had properly enforced the rule, even if lots of fans think the rule is dumb.

But then on Sunday night, Giants receiver Victor Cruz had a similar play on which he grabbed the ball around the 1-yard line, lunged across the goal line, and lost control of the ball after he hit the ground in the end zone. That call was ruled a touchdown on the field, and the replay assistant who reviews all scoring plays was so confident that it was a touchdown that he didn’t even buzz down to the referee to take another look.

According to Mike Pereira, the former NFL head of officiating, the official on the field got it wrong, and the replay assistant got it wrong, too: According to Pereira, there is no difference between the Cruz play and the Johnson play, and under NFL rules both should be considered incomplete passes.

“The Cruz catch was ruled complete. It should not have. Ball came loose when he hit the ground. He did not complete the process,” Pereira wrote on Twitter.

We’re seeking clarification from the league office, and it’s possible that the NFL will say Pereira is wrong on this one and the officials in the Giants-Cowboys game were right. But what we already know is that one of the following two things has to be true:

1. Victor Cruz was awarded a touchdown he didn’t deserve.
2. The NFL’s rules on what constitutes a catch are so convoluted that even the NFL’s former head of officiating doesn’t understand them.

Either way, that’s a problem.

And it’s a problem we’ve been discussing for years. We noted in 2011 that Pereira had criticized the Calvin Johnson rule (while conveniently overlooking his own responsibility for its existence), and the rule has been criticized by fans and members of the media for years. Eventually, the NFL has to find a way to define the term “catch” that is clear enough that the officials can call it consistently. Right now, no one knows what constitutes a catch.

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109 Responses to “Pereira: Officials wrongly gave Victor Cruz a TD on incomplete pass”
  1. thekiller678 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:46 AM

    Well, Im glad they got it “wrong” because if that’s not a catch I don’t know what is

  2. dtownsportslions says: Sep 11, 2013 10:47 AM

    Megatron’s TD should have counted.

  3. Grulks says: Sep 11, 2013 10:49 AM

    Just so long as they don’t vacate the giants victory that night. Oh wait…

  4. habsfanatic says: Sep 11, 2013 10:50 AM

    I wish they would just simplify things and say whenever the ball crosses the goal line and the receiver has possession (in mid air or on the ground) the play is a touchdown, regardless of whether the ball comes loose if the player hits the ground… They simplified things for catches made along the sidelines (the players either get their bodies in bounds or not now) and a change to goal-line plays would make things so much less confusing!

  5. guymatula says: Sep 11, 2013 10:50 AM

    Doesn’t matter, Cowboys won the game!!! But seriously, they need to fix that rule before any team gets screwed out of a win.

  6. riverace19 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:51 AM

    Whenever there is human interpretation involved, whether it is live or on video, there will always be discussions like this

  7. chc36 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:51 AM

    I think based on the rules its not a catch, but agree the rules don’t make sense to the point that when it happened Pereira tweeted in defense of the TD ruling claiming he was a runner

  8. telldatruth says: Sep 11, 2013 10:52 AM

    This explains all refs are not on the same page and the league should suspend them or remove them from games.

  9. xgarcia22 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:52 AM

    Thanks for making us watch that stupid salsa dance again.

  10. whitdog23 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    just call them NFL rules. no need for apostrophy s. the NFL doesn’t possess all of the rules for football

  11. logicalvoicesays says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    The Maras being helped by the National Fixed League? No way. #TheRedskinswillstillwinthedivision

  12. buckethead1 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    He stole my dance….

  13. blacknole08 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    The Megatron rule is so stupid. If a player has control of the ball and comes down with both feet in the end zone or the ball crosses the pylon it should be a TD. Period.

    Forget all this completing the catch nonsense.

  14. bach2112 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    NFL dont dare rule against a Mara owned team. Yet they hammer Calvin consistently. Oh well it didnt matter the Boys beat the nads soundly.

  15. razzmatazzcomics says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    It’s New York. With the officials help over the years, that city would never win anything.

    Even the officials won’t be able to stop the Eagles from destroying New York this year.

    Eagles Division Winners 2013. Book it!

  16. firejimmy says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    Earlier in the evening Foxboro Mike Pereira had a different response.

    “Mike Pereira ‏@MikePereira 8 Sep
    For alll that ask about the Cruz play, he had completed the catch and was runner. CJ had not and has to hold on the the ball. Simple!”

    So he’s full of it, like I alwayss thought.

  17. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    The NFL covets controversy. It keeps people talking…

  18. eustus says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    When are they going to rename the sport lawyerball?

  19. aymesq says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    I think Pereira is wrong about the Cruz catch, but will be interested to see if the NFL responds. To me, Cruz caught the ball and had both feet on the ground with the ball secured. At that point he became a runner (just like a QB on a sneak), lunged for the goal line and extended the ball until it crossed the plane of the goal line. TD. Even if a replay shows that he didn’t get both feet on the ground after the catch, he secured the ball and made a move common to the game of football by twisting his body and lunging for the goal line. So, TD either way. The officials got it right.

  20. mrintrigue says: Sep 11, 2013 10:55 AM

    Funny… It doesn’t seem like it was too long ago… all fans knew exactly what a catch was …. the rules become too involved at some point…. just like the “new” pass interference calls that the league makes now…I also used to know what pass interference was…

  21. jochsner4 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:56 AM

    The problem is that the players both obviously caught the ball and then lunged to reach it across the goal line. Once they both hit the ground was when the ball came loose. If you have time to lunge after showing complete control, it should be a catch.

  22. beardinals says: Sep 11, 2013 10:56 AM

    Stellar week the the refs had. Do they know preseason is over?

  23. indywilson40 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:56 AM

    Bring back the replacement officials.

  24. andreweac says: Sep 11, 2013 10:57 AM

    The referees hate America’s Team. The union must be with the terrorists.

  25. juddgr says: Sep 11, 2013 10:57 AM

    I believe this is just another problem that if you have an owner by the name of Mara, you get what you want

  26. blackandbluedivision says: Sep 11, 2013 10:59 AM

    I don’t see what the discussion is all about. If this was in the field of play and the ball hit the ground during the process of a catch…then it would be incomplete.

    He caught the ball and in the process of stretching it across the goal line it came loose as it hit the ground. It wasn’t a catch.

  27. ccjcsr says: Sep 11, 2013 11:00 AM

    The best team in the Division won regardless!

    #NFCEASTCHAMPIONS

  28. minnesoulja says: Sep 11, 2013 11:03 AM

    STUPID CONSTANT RULE CHANGES AND BS.

    HE HAD COMPLETED THE CATCH. CLEARLY.

    IF THAT WAS A INCOMPLETE PASS, GARY ANDERSON NEVER MISSED THE 1998 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP KICK.

  29. bcgreg says: Sep 11, 2013 11:03 AM

    My understanding is that Cruz caught the ball (had possession) outside the endzone and as soon as the ball crossed the goal line, the play is over. Touchdown. If he catches the ball IN the endzone, then he has to complete the catch. I believe Perriera is wrong here.

  30. gorilladunk says: Sep 11, 2013 11:06 AM

    I’ll be so happy when they settle the strike and the real refs get back on the field. Oh wait……

  31. keeptweetingirsay says: Sep 11, 2013 11:07 AM

    I thought there was a difference between a catch that is made outside the endzone and one that is made in the endzone. If the catch was outside of the endzone, i thought it was just control + football move to complete the catch. if it was caught in the endzone, complete control throughout the entirety of the catch…. ?????

  32. wryly1 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:09 AM

    Hmmm … Periera was the #1 defender of NFL officials dubious calls when he worked at league HQ. Now that he’s out, he’s become a finger-pointer. That make anybody else wonder if he may have an axe-to-grind agenda?

  33. ridgebak says: Sep 11, 2013 11:12 AM

    At the rate they’re going, there won’t be any qualified referee crews left for the playoffs

  34. pkrjones says: Sep 11, 2013 11:16 AM

    That’s the problem with this asinine rule, as much as they tried to remove gray areas and judgement they introduced even more. If a player HAS possession and they cross the goal line or are legally within the end zone boundaries IT’S A TOUCHDOWN!

    If a RB has possession and crosses the goal line and then gets the ball knocked out of his hands (by the ground OR another player) is it a touch down? YES!

    Possession IN the end zone = TD.

  35. snakeskinsoul says: Sep 11, 2013 11:18 AM

    And fantasy players who played against Cruz last week are screaming….(not that anyone cares)

  36. mogogo1 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:18 AM

    So many contradictory rules even the officials don’t know how they all interact. It can be called incomplete if the ball comes loose yards after the catch, after the receiver has entered the end zone, yet the ball can touch the turf and be called a catch just as long as they decide it looks like the guy had control of it.

    And remember them talking about a receiver needing to make a “football move”? Diving into the end zone isn’t a football move?

  37. theytukrjobs says: Sep 11, 2013 11:19 AM

    I totally called this when it happened. And the Cruz TD gave me a fantasy football win over my good buddy who I was watching the game with.

    I am so glad that they are coming out and saying this, as my buddy is going to be even more pissed. Awesome.

  38. thetruthcampaign says: Sep 11, 2013 11:19 AM

    Killed me in fantasy.

  39. caveman1000 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:20 AM

    Cruz is a great athlete. That stupid dance has to go though. It has no place in football. Makes me think of the James Gumb tuck scene from Silence of the Lambs.

  40. jwcarlson says: Sep 11, 2013 11:20 AM

    Yeah… and they darn near lost me a fantasy matchup because of it.

  41. godofwine330 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:20 AM

    So let me get this right: a guy can catch the ball with one hand, palm the ball, wave it around like he just doesn’t care, but when he reaches over and spikes it on the goal line ensuring a touchdown and not a 1st & goal at the 1 then it is an incomplete pass.

    If you can palm the ball with one hand and hold it upside down I’d say that’s a catch.

  42. eljara says: Sep 11, 2013 11:20 AM

    maybe it was a catch.
    maybe it wasn’t.

    the only thing that matters is that even with that catch… GIANTS LOST and COWBOYS WON!!!! :D

  43. isphet71 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:26 AM

    Perreira just gained back a little bit of credibility in my eyes. Either BOTH Megtron’s and Cruz’s plays were catches, or NEITHER of them were.

    I think they BOTH were, but that’s just me.

    At least there’s a little consistency for a change fromn SOMEONE.

  44. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:27 AM

    Horrendous rule.

    A running player only has to break the plane and then if the ball is dropped, fumbled, knocked out of his hand it doesn’t matter, still a TD.

    But a receiver breaks the plane and has a bobble after that point and its not a TD.

    And even worse the refs are poorly trained in this rule and it is to some extent subjective. Not sure what the league was trying to achieve with this rule but they totally failed in the attempt.

  45. richmondmat says: Sep 11, 2013 11:27 AM

    The lack of clarity on what constitutes a catch is a result of instant replay being overused in sport. The quality of officiating is on a downward spiral because they are unwilling to make the split second decision required of their profession.

    Ten years ago you rarely saw officials looking around to see who was going to make the call. Now it is common place.

  46. richndc says: Sep 11, 2013 11:28 AM

    sour grapes from the g-men–I like how they keep saying “we turned the ball over SIX times and still nearly won.” Oh, did you?–you scored a garbage time touchdown with 11 secs still left. Oh wait, one of those TDs was ruled incorrectly….tell your coach next time come up with a better strategy than flopping to slow down the offense, and “hit him 10 and you win” as a way to defend the QB. P-thetic

  47. wingz101 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:28 AM

    Cruz and Megatron caught the ball with both hands. Both got two feet down outside the endzone.
    Both extended the ball accross the goaline of the endzone.

    Play over touchdown.

    The ball rolled out after they broke the plane … that’s too bad, just like its too bad when a RB jumps over the pile, and just the tip of the ball breaks the plane of the goalline before a defender whacks it out. That is not a fumble. That’s a touchdown.

    The rule is simply wrong and just needs to be scrapped, not revised.

  48. Reggie's Bush says: Sep 11, 2013 11:30 AM

    Caught the ball outside of the end zone, once the ball crosses the line the play is over. Touchdown.
    Same as Lance Moore’s 2 pt conversion in the Superbowl.
    Same as Adrian Peterson’s long Td this week where he crossed the end zone then the ball was knocked out – play was over so if ball gets loose it does not matter.

  49. dannyabramowitz says: Sep 11, 2013 11:30 AM

    It’s very simple to correct this rule. What causes problems is the “special” rule for “catches by a receiver falling to the ground.” There should be no such special rule. A “catch” should be defined as securing possession of the ball with two feet in bounds. Once that happens, there is a “catch” and it is irrelevant what happens after that. So if the receiver falls to the ground after a “catch” and the ball moves it is of no consequence. By this definition, both Calvin Johnson and Cruz secured a “catch” and scored a TD by crossing the plane after a “catch.”

  50. bronconation13 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:31 AM

    Pereira is an idiot trying to get famous. His input gives bad publicity to the league. Even if a play is reviewed, the refs have to make a fast decision in the interest of time. They don’t have hours or days to look at the replay and examine if it was a perfect call or not. This guy needs to shut the hell up already. He’s making everyone lose trust in the refs, and god knows we don’t want the replacement refs back.

  51. dretwann says: Sep 11, 2013 11:33 AM

    Not a big blue fan but that was a catch and a TD. He caught it with his back to the goal line. He turned and lunged for the goal line all while having possession. If that is not a football act after the catch (sounds like 2 of them to me), then I don’t know what is. The ball broke the plain before he hit the ground and the ball can loose. The play was dead the moment it crossed the plain . Not sure what Pereira is looking at there. Didn’t see Lion’s game, so can’t comment on that. Cruz was legit.

  52. whodeybacker says: Sep 11, 2013 11:33 AM

    Good 9/11 day to you All. Sad day that needs to be remembered. Now back to football. I am not a fan of Periera. Isnt his 15 minutes up yet? No wonder all these officials are lawyers in their real jobs. The rules today have gotten so convoluted its not funny. Rules made upon other rules have eliminated the use of common sense. Agree that the NFL should have a War room like the NHL. Take the conflict of intrest away from the crew that made the initial call. Theres always a way to defend “interpretation” .

  53. eatitfanboy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:35 AM

    Perriera is wrong.

    Cruz completed the catch at the one yard line. Two hands on the ball, feet on the ground. He then turned and lunged over the goal line, which is the same thing as advancing the ball by running.

    The rule is meant to apply to recievers making leaping or lunging catches and go to the ground while making said catch. Cruz had already completed the catch and was advancing the ball when he hit the ground.

  54. detroitchevy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:35 AM

    when will pereira’s 15 min of fame be up? its bad enough they go to him during the games and now i have to read about this hack

  55. kennyx says: Sep 11, 2013 11:38 AM

    Not evn sure why this is being debated. Cruz caught the ball and made a football move.

    By lunging forward, which is a football move, and also having control of the football at the same time of the football move, there is no difference between him and RB when getting the ball to hit the goaline.

    Touchdown

  56. skinsfan2013 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:39 AM

    Why can’t we just play football anymore………..everything is second guessed now. Let the refs do their jobs and let the chips fall where they may, 1 missed call or penalty doesn’t win or lose the game for any team, boy do I miss old school football.

  57. rahavort says: Sep 11, 2013 11:41 AM

    Should have not been a touchdown, and we should not have had to watch that stupid dance

  58. trefkennedy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:46 AM

    So the score should have been 36-24 cowboys, the ref’s gave them a free score

  59. weaselpuppy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:47 AM

    guymatula says: Sep 11, 2013 10:50 AM

    Doesn’t matter, Cowboys won the game!!! But seriously, they need to fix that rule before any team gets screwed out of a win.

    ===============================
    TOO LATE

    Already cost the Lions on the original dumbass call that made it the “Calvin Johnson” rule…that was a game winning TD catch against the Bears that got called back…and he caught it in the end zone, fell on his butt, both knees, then used the ball to prop himself up while starting to stand and started to flip it away…INCOMPLETE! Horsebleep rule. has to be stricken NOW NOW NOW

  60. donth8thehorns says: Sep 11, 2013 11:50 AM

    Anyone else tired of this guy?? They always have him on with Joe Buck & Troy Aikman! How gay are those two anyway!!! The worst in the broadcasting, then you sprinkle in a little Mike peirrira? It is painful! When will this guy go away

  61. dccowboy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:51 AM

    aymesq says: Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

    “I think Pereira is wrong about the Cruz catch, but will be interested to see if the NFL responds. To me, Cruz caught the ball and had both feet on the ground with the ball secured.”

    Actually Cruz did NOT get both feet down before he went to the ground. If you watch the slow motion replay, he jumped, grabbed the ball with both hands, got his right foot down, his left foot is still in the air when he took his hand off the ball and fell to the ground where the ball came out. If you have NFL Replay it’s at 1:35:28 on the tape.

    Since he did not have both feet on the ground before he shifted the ball to one hand and went to the ground he did not ‘complete a football move’ and was in the process of making the catch when he slammed the ball on the ground and lost control. It should have been ruled incomplete.

  62. dccowboy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:56 AM

    To amplify on my previous post. When Cruz stretched the ball into the endzone he had one foot down and was on one hand (a hand does not make you down – see RBs who place a hand on the ground and continue running). The other foot was in the air until he slammed the ball into the ground and lost it.

    It doesn’t really matter, just made the game closer than it should have been – actually it made it a much more exciting game to watch. :)

  63. marktroy says: Sep 11, 2013 11:59 AM

    If I remember correctly, Randall Cobb had a similar TD catch, reach the ball to the goal line…

  64. kennyx says: Sep 11, 2013 12:00 PM

    dccowboy says:

    “Actually Cruz did NOT get both feet down before he went to the ground. If you watch the slow motion replay, he jumped, grabbed the ball with both hands, got his right foot down, his left foot is still in the air when he took his hand off the ball and fell to the ground where the ball came out. If you have NFL Replay it’s at 1:35:28 on the tape.

    Since he did not have both feet on the ground before he shifted the ball to one hand and went to the ground he did not ‘complete a football move’ and was in the process of making the catch when he slammed the ball on the ground and lost control. It should have been ruled incomplete.”

    Doesnt matter… See the picture in the article on top? Cruz has position of the ball with his hand, and his whole body is on the ground. At that point it’s a completed catch… So yes, it was a touchdown.

  65. djstat says: Sep 11, 2013 12:00 PM

    So Cruz catching, landing, turning and moving forward to the end zone is not a catch?

  66. gibson34 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:05 PM

    illogical voice iii is back….I guess posting your mug on a milk carton worked as you were missing…..LMAO…..not much to say about your horrid red face team……lol

    HOW BOUT THOSE COWBOYS!!!!

  67. dvdman123 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:07 PM

    Pereira = renegade x-ref.

  68. christophershearin says: Sep 11, 2013 12:09 PM

    I dont seem to remember the replacements making this many mistakes……. bring em back…….. at least they had an excuse for making some bad calls

  69. hawkforlife says: Sep 11, 2013 12:20 PM

    Before this even became a concern I’ve hated the Pereira “Guru” label. It’s a joke.

    First, he’s now paid by a network and not the NFL so we have no idea who his loyalties lie with.

    Second, Guru? He had as many mistakes in his day as current officials and;

    Third, shouldn’t we expect the color commentators in particular as well as the play by play announcers to KNOW THE RULES! Why the need at all for a Guru. If the announcing team don’t know the rules they should be replaced by competent talking heads.

  70. weepingjebus says: Sep 11, 2013 12:22 PM

    I liked that Onion article about a pass being ruled incomplete after the receiver handed the ball to the ref in the end zone. Just didn’t think it would become real life.

  71. scaredhitless says: Sep 11, 2013 12:26 PM

    Silly little rules.

  72. nananatman says: Sep 11, 2013 12:30 PM

    They also let Steve Weatherford incorrectly get run over while simultaneously mocking him in the backfield. That is his kicking motion.

  73. bigwayne75 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Both of Cruz’s feet were down, he turned around with complete control of the ball. He went to the ground, first the elbow and then hip with complete control. When he reached for the goal line, he had complete control. Once the ball touched the goal line it is a TD.

  74. izlez says: Sep 11, 2013 12:39 PM

    So the “Calvin Johnson Rule” is so confusing, that replay officials don’t know how to enforce it properly. If you are a Cowboys coach and manage to understand the rule, the “Jim Schwartz” rule prevents you from getting a correct call without getting penalized if the replay booth doesn’t know that it needs to be reviewed, like what happened

    Makes total sense

  75. mn2long says: Sep 11, 2013 12:47 PM

    I called into a THE TICKET in Dallas and they blew me off on this. It doesn’t matter if the catch is in the end zone or outside of it. If they player goes TO THE GROUND during the catch he must maintain possession of the ball all the way through. Plain and simple, this was not a catch. It happened on 3rd and 10 and would have resulted in a field goal instead of a TD and this could have costed the Cowboys the game. Like it or not, that is the rule.

  76. scchamil says: Sep 11, 2013 12:51 PM

    kennyx says:Sep 11, 2013 11:38 AM

    Not evn sure why this is being debated. Cruz caught the ball and made a football move.

    By lunging forward, which is a football move, and also having control of the football at the same time of the football move, there is no difference between him and RB when getting the ball to hit the goaline.

    Touchdown
    ——————————————————

    This is a very good point… but they haven’t always been consistent about the “football move” standard either. Go back and look at the Jermaine Greshem catch a couple years ago..

  77. slammed81 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:52 PM

    Funny cowboy fans barely beat a team who turned it over 6 times and there goin to the Super bowl…. Really get a clue n no I’m not a giants fan

  78. kev86 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:00 PM

    Give it a rest. That’s a TD.

  79. chiadam says: Sep 11, 2013 1:01 PM

    It’s probably easier now to list the plays that the officials didn’t screw up.

  80. jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 1:02 PM

    @ nananatman,

    “They also let Steve Weatherford incorrectly get run over while simultaneously mocking him in the backfield. That is his kicking motion.”

    If this is Weatherford’s kicking motion, then he needs to change his kicking style because he is going to get hurt at some point in the near future with guys gunning for the ball. If this is his style, he is the only kicker in the league who does this. The non-penalty was called correctly.

    Is this a case of another butt-hurt Giants fan who is bitter about the loss, and bummed about the Giants win streak in Dallas coming to an end? It appears so.

  81. jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 1:11 PM

    @ slammed81

    “Funny cowboy fans barely beat a team who turned it over 6 times and there going to the Super bowl…. Really get a clue n no I’m not a giants fan.”

    There is no such thing as barely in football, unless you are a hater, and then it apparently is ridiculously alive and well.

    The Giants BARELY got into the playoffs and still BARELY won the SB the last two times they limped into the playoffs with a 1-6 and 9-7 record. Is that ALSO an applicable “barely” situation, or is it a moot point because it really doesn’t matter? Even not being a Giants fan, stop wasting your hater time trying to put a negative light on a win. If you win, you win. PERIOD.

  82. coachglove says: Sep 11, 2013 1:12 PM

    Simplest rule:

    If you have control at the time when you would have otherwise been down by contact (ie – your knee, elbow, butt, etc) or with 2 feet inbounds it is a touchdown. That is a call they make in every other situation EXCEPT in the endzone. Why you would add that extra layer in the endzone I have no idea.

    Who cares what happens after that moment in time? If the guy is on the 30yd line and catches it with 2 feet inbounds and then flips the ball to the ref or to the ground it’s ruled complete. Why change that standard just because it is the endzone?

  83. freder85ico says: Sep 11, 2013 1:17 PM

    Pereira is wrong. Cruz made the catch before the goal line, established control, made “football moves” as he was fighting to reach the endzone and extended the ball and it broke the plane… touchdown!

    Johnson, catches the ball in the endzone, and as he was establishing control, i.e. going to the ground, the ball comes loose

    Clearly two separate incidences and I believe the refs called it correctly, as it is written in the rules

  84. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:27 PM

    jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 1:02 PM

    @ nananatman,

    “They also let Steve Weatherford incorrectly get run over while simultaneously mocking him in the backfield. That is his kicking motion.”

    If this is Weatherford’s kicking motion, then he needs to change his kicking style because he is going to get hurt at some point in the near future with guys gunning for the ball. If this is his style, he is the only kicker in the league who does this. The non-penalty was called correctly.

    Is this a case of another butt-hurt Giants fan who is bitter about the loss, and bummed about the Giants win streak in Dallas coming to an end? It appears so.
    ———————

    We don’t get bitter over a Week 1 loss. This is more like irrational fans of perennial losers that are making way too much of a Week 1 win.

  85. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:29 PM

    jsrdc says: Sep 11, 2013 1:11 PM

    @ slammed81

    “Funny cowboy fans barely beat a team who turned it over 6 times and there going to the Super bowl…. Really get a clue n no I’m not a giants fan.”

    There is no such thing as barely in football, unless you are a hater, and then it apparently is ridiculously alive and well.

    The Giants BARELY got into the playoffs and still BARELY won the SB the last two times they limped into the playoffs with a 1-6 and 9-7 record. Is that ALSO an applicable “barely” situation, or is it a moot point because it really doesn’t matter? Even not being a Giants fan, stop wasting your hater time trying to put a negative light on a win. If you win, you win. PERIOD.
    ——————-

    Are you going to be bitter and jealous (and dusting off titles before 1990 doesn’t help your cause, so don’t even try it) or are you really not seeing the difference between a near epic choke job by Dallas and the Giants going into the playoffs and shutting down three of the biggest juggernauts in the league in successive weeks? Because these are about as divergent examples as you will find.

  86. truelionsfan says: Sep 11, 2013 1:32 PM

    The only reason this is even a rule is, so the NFL had an excuse to take away the Lions win at Chicago a couple of years ago. Now its come back to bite them in the butt. That’s what you get for letting refs have a say in the outcome of the game.

  87. itguy76 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:33 PM

    This seems simple enough to me. Remove the Endzone from the discussion for a second. If both plays happened at the 20, Johnson’s would have been incomplete, Cruz would have been catch and fumble.

    The player possessing the ball must move the ball over the goal line to score a TD, it does not have to touch then Endzone, for example the ball with forward progress or over the pylon is enough for a score even if the player doesn’t cross the line.

    Because Johnson never made the catch, he can’t score a TD. You can’t be giving TDs on incomplete passes. Cruz made the catch and crossed the goal line, so TD. Just like if a RB dives and loses the ball in the endzone.

  88. dccowboy says: Sep 11, 2013 1:35 PM

    bigwayne75 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:31 PM

    Both of Cruz’s feet were down, he turned around with complete control of the ball. He went to the ground, first the elbow and then hip with complete control. When he reached for the goal line, he had complete control. Once the ball touched the goal line it is a TD.

    ==================

    That is not correct. Cruz did NOT have both feet down.

  89. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    I’m still waiting to watch an NFL game where the rulebook doesn’t contribute to a problem in some way. This league is ridiculous and the rules aren’t clear and many of the ones that are don’t even make any natural sense. Somebody needs to clean this crap up and get the junk and confusion out of the game.

  90. greg2geez says: Sep 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    Boy am I glad we got rid of those lousy replacement refs. Imagine if one of those clowns altered the outcome of a game!

  91. dccowboy says: Sep 11, 2013 1:41 PM

    kennyx says: Sep 11, 2013 12:00 PM

    dccowboy says:

    “Actually Cruz did NOT get both feet down before he went to the ground. If you watch the slow motion replay, he jumped, grabbed the ball with both hands, got his right foot down, his left foot is still in the air when he took his hand off the ball and fell to the ground where the ball came out. If you have NFL Replay it’s at 1:35:28 on the tape.

    Since he did not have both feet on the ground before he shifted the ball to one hand and went to the ground he did not ‘complete a football move’ and was in the process of making the catch when he slammed the ball on the ground and lost control. It should have been ruled incomplete.”

    Doesnt matter… See the picture in the article on top? Cruz has position of the ball with his hand, and his whole body is on the ground. At that point it’s a completed catch… So yes, it was a touchdown.
    =================

    Odd, the pic at the top does show him lying on the ground, but it also shows one hand on top of the football with the football still in the air AND the only part of his hand that is actually in contact with the football are his fingertips, the palm is not (you can clearly see space between his palm and the ball), so no it is not a touchdown. Having just your fingertips on the ball with one hand does not constitute ‘control’. It is not a TD

  92. nyjetsfan08 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:43 PM

    Simple fix.

    As long as the ball crosses the plane, and ball carrier/receiver does not drop it, it’s a catch.

  93. lightninglucci says: Sep 11, 2013 1:51 PM

    The NFL had an out to this problem when the “second act” term was created. In both the Cruz and Johnson plays, there was a second act.

    The goal line has nothing to do with the current rule, except for the fact that the second act happens because of the players’ proximity to the goal line (or less often, the first-down line).

    Johnson’s second act, reaching for the goal line, occurred after he secured the ball to his body. Cruz likely wasn’t even going to the ground, which is why I believe the Cruz call was technically correct. Still, the defenders hit him to the ground, so either the hit or his reaching could be considered the second act.

    By the 100 guys in a bar logic, we see both plays as catches, but the rules are clear in disagreement.

    Don’t throw the rule out…there’s good reason for it. But allow for exceptions. The NFL already does it for the two-feet inbounds rule with the “one-knee” exception.

  94. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 11, 2013 1:55 PM

    There you have it Dallas 36 – Giants 24.

    So in the future the replay officials will be double checked by Pereira to make extra sure we get it right on the field. Just send the tape to him after the game and he will let us know on about Wednesday what the final score of the game actually was.

  95. cowboysfan1979 says: Sep 11, 2013 2:09 PM

    I was screaming “Calvin Johnson” at the TV when it happened. I’m surprised more wasn’t made of this earlier..
    It’s an absurd interpretations of the rule, but they need to call it consistently.

  96. furnhole says: Sep 11, 2013 2:26 PM

    Let’s see, week one and the experts are not sure what constitutes a complete catch, a legal block, a legal tackle, a fumble and a hit in or out of bounds. I’m sure there are more. Nice job NFL!

  97. jeffchadwick says: Sep 11, 2013 2:35 PM

    Folks keep citing the running back reaching over the goalline as part of the Calvin Johnson rule discussion. That’s like calling traveling in a hockey game; one rule simply has nothing to do with the other.

    For the Giants fans who are upset that Pereira called out the Cruz catch: I don’t think anybody disagrees that the Cruz play passed the “10 guys in a bar” test. But so did Calvin Johnson in 2010 (a two knees, butt, two knees again down, then drops the ball) and on Sunday (catches ball with two feet in bounds, lunges over goalline). The league just doesn’t know how to enforce this rule properly. Or they have it out for the Lions (or some combination therein). Either way, it needs to be fixed.

  98. nananatman says: Sep 11, 2013 2:38 PM

    JSRDC

    I’m only bitter at the Giants for giving the ball up 6 times while simultaneously laughing at the Cowboys for barely pulling out a W. That is his kicking motion watch some film other than 20 odd year old Cowboys Super Bowl win. What kicker in the league tries to get hit?

  99. sullijo1 says: Sep 11, 2013 3:19 PM

    If you can’t spot a team 7 and beat them, then you weren’t clearly better than them anyway, were you?

    In this case, Dallas was.

  100. matt2calvin says: Sep 11, 2013 3:25 PM

    itguy76 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:33 PM

    Because Johnson never made the catch, he can’t score a TD. You can’t be giving TDs on incomplete passes. Cruz made the catch and crossed the goal line, so TD. Just like if a RB dives and loses the ball in the endzone.
    ————————————————————

    What game were you watching? Megatron made the catch and had it between both hands extended over the goal line! It was not moving between his hands, he had it clamped down with both hands.

    His mistake was letting go with one hand and bringing it into his body before he hit the ground.

    He clearly made the catch, then lunged for the goal line. It didn’t happen by accident – these are world class athletes… That is clearly a TD…

  101. shatho1 says: Sep 11, 2013 3:28 PM

    I’m a Cowboys fan but even I can tell it was a
    Touchdown. the ball crossed the plane then came loose
    So give credit where credit is due. So be realistic people and get over it cuz week 1 us n the books. So move on
    GO COWBOYS!!!!

  102. paulsmith107 says: Sep 11, 2013 3:30 PM

    How many of these idiots quoting the rules actually have the rule book lol. Seriously who cares Dallas won and the giants lost if it was or wasnt incomplete it didn’t change a thing. Te only probl is I had to see that idiot and his fake arsed salsa dance

  103. romosrevenge says: Sep 11, 2013 3:34 PM

    More evidence (the ref fiasco in SF re:Matthews cheap shot) to support my claim that the NFL is more and more being played by the refs NOT the athletes. In this case, if anything, why is this play NOT a fumble, vs. an incomplete pass? But regardless, if the ball crosses the plane of the goal before the carrier touches turf it’s a TD. Or did they change that too?

  104. deltaoracle says: Sep 11, 2013 3:40 PM

    Everyone knows the refs always favor the New Jersey Jints.

  105. richndc says: Sep 11, 2013 3:41 PM

    Also, I thought Cruz had more class than to do that fruity, silly dance (not real salsa at all) than when he scores while down by double digits? Disgraceful…just like fake injuries and strategies on the QB to “hit him 10 and you win”. Low class, low rent–it will be most enjoyable to watch you wallow in the cellar this year, while the NY media destroys Coughlin and morale stories pervade the daily rags–most enjoyable indeed. ahhhh, Eli Manning and the pick-six syndrome, soon to be a household phrase.

  106. shatho1 says: Sep 11, 2013 4:48 PM

    If I was a ref I’d call an unsportsmanlike conduct call for that
    that stupid a** dance and give them a 15 yard penalty

  107. okstatefan68 says: Sep 11, 2013 7:30 PM

    Complete the process?!? Any other time the ball crosses the plane in solid possession of a player it is considered a dead ball, touchdown, touchback, punt, kick off. If control is maintained while running or catching it should be considered a dead ball and the result of play should stand

  108. nincompoopss says: Sep 11, 2013 8:56 PM

    Cruz never caught the ball. Reaching forward before you have gotten two feet down ( or any equivalent knee, hip, elbow) is not worth anything. Cruz fell to the ground and didn’t maintain possession. If he made the same catch falling out of bounds it would be incomplete. If he made the same play in the middle of the field it is incomplete. He never caught the ball to do anything with it.

    You have to catch the ball and then demonstrate that possession by making a football move or retaining possession all the way through getting tackled or going out of bounds.

    “Breaking the plane” has nothing to do with this play because Cruz never was a runner. He never caught the ball officially.

    The Calvin rule is sound, but the refs need to enforce it consistently. Don’t let the ball wobble when you are falling to the ground while making the catch. Simple.

  109. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 12, 2013 11:33 AM

    “And you thought we sucked?”
    Sincerely, the replacement refs

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