Refs give Cowboys a gift with pass interference no-call

AP

With the Lions facing third-and-1 at midfield in the fourth quarter today in Dallas, Matthew Stafford threw a pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The pass fell incomplete, but the officials called pass interference, giving the Lions a first down.

And then something bizarre happened: Referee Pete Morelli, who announced the pass interference call, didn’t enforce it. He signaled fourth down and didn’t explain why he was waving off the penalty on the Cowboys.

It was obviously pass interference (and Pettigrew also had his jersey grabbed on the play, so it should have been defensive holding if it weren’t pass interference), but for some reason there was no penalty, and the Lions punted on fourth down.

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira, working the game for FOX, said he had never seen anything like it.

“It is clearly pass interference,” Pereira said. “I strongly believe that was not a good pickup of a flag.”

We’ll have to wait until after the game to find out what on earth Morelli was thinking when he called off the penalty. But he gave the Cowboys a huge gift in the fourth quarter of a close playoff game.

284 responses to “Refs give Cowboys a gift with pass interference no-call

  1. Roger Goddell called Morelli and told him to pick up the flag. The NFL needs the Cowboys to advance. They tried suspending Suh last week and that didn’t work, so this is their latest attempt.

  2. In the reply you can see Detroit’s receiver clearly grabbed the DBs face mask and pulled the defensive player into contact. There was no contact until he did so.

    If anything it was offensive PI.

  3. Really makes one think that the refs have a desired outcome….and how is Dez Bryant allowed to come on the field and argue the call with the refs?

  4. Pete Morelli is a horrible NFL official. He should have been fired a few years ago for overturning a Troy Polamalu INT in Indy in the playoffs….

  5. That was an embarrassing decision to overturn that obvious call. “Jungle Boy” would not have agreed with that being a good call.

  6. Absolute disgrace!!!! Refs are very pro-Cowboys in the second half. Shocking!!! I thought it was only football (soccer ) that had refs that would favour teams.

  7. Isn’t it painfully obvious Morelli was just thinking about his bet on the game? Just channeling Donaghy.

  8. some thing tells me he wants the cowboys to win, other wise he would enforced the penalty, reminds me of NFC championship game 49ers vs the Falcons, a clear pass interference call, and no one called it.

  9. That was garbage.

    They need to at least give an explanation of what happened, in that spot, not a “JK”. Lions haven’t played a very good 2nd half, but any fan that cares about the game is upset about that.

    Especially when the Commish likes to use words like, Integrity.

  10. Ignoring whether it was a legit call or not, I’ve never seen a flag beer picked up AFTER the penalty is announced. That’s a very bad look for the NFL.

  11. Not ONE word by the author of this post, Periera, Aikman, or Buck about the blatant facemask non-call committed by Pettigrew on the same play. Is there an agenda at play here?

  12. I agree with Harrisonhits2, it was a good non call. For starters I never like those PI calls that are clearly underthrown balls that the offense is then rewarded for. I still think if I was an NFL coach I would specifically design a play that is a receiver just bombing down the field, the QB intentionally underthrows while the receiver turns back and runs into the DB.

    Anyway, rant over. The real reason it was rightfully picked up was the obvious hands to the face against the Cowboys DB. Its hard to turn your head back when the receiver has his hands all over your facemask

  13. That was very, very fishy.

    Picking up a flag so late after such a clear PI (and one that was already announced)?

    That’s one of those instances where my normally skeptical self who scoffs at NFL conspiracy theories raises an eyebrow.

  14. NFL should be embarrassed and rhe refs should be fired or at least fined.

    He/they definitely should be, but they won’t be.

    If I were Caldwell I would insist after the game, if the Lions win, that the official(s) responsible never ref another Lions game this postseason.

  15. The refs told Caldwell they threw the flag unintentionally therefore nothing really happened.

    (Attempt to make the reference to Suh telling Caldwell his two-step on Aaron Rodgers was unintentional)

  16. I take that back! What Kool-Aid did the Ref’s drink? Terrible Officiating? What happened? I don’t care who wins? But come on! They where doing such a great job of keeping the flags in the pocket? What happened???? Shame, real shame!!

  17. Not only was PI but where is the flag for unsportsmanlike conduct for Dez Bryant coming on the field of play to complain about it. The NFL REALLY want’s the Cowboys to advance.

  18. sbc85 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:25 PM
    Also: Dez Bryant ran onto the field with no helmet to argue with the ref, with no consequences.
    _______________________
    I was wondering that myself. Thought it was illegal to pull your helmet off on the field. Also, thought it was illegal to run on the field and argue.

  19. I have never seen an NFL play that made me think a game could be fixed, but that one did. That was a ref CHEATING, no ifs ands or buts.

  20. This reminds me of NBA playoff games with the Lakers where the refs called fouls on the Sacramento Kings non-stop to ensure the Lakers would win. Picking up that flag then giving the Cowgirls first down after first down to make sure they got a TD sure looks like the fix is in. Sure, Detroit hasn’t done much on offense but picking up that flag was ridiculous.

  21. Remember Blandino on the Jerry Jones party bus last August?

    Expect more pro-Dallas screw-jobs by the refs in the next couple of weeks.

  22. Not a PI. If it is, then the NFL is a joke. Defenders can hardly even D up a receiver these days. The ball hit the DB in his back! There was no way the receiver could have even made a play!

  23. This is the worst officiating I’ve seen all year. And it’s a playoff game. The refs are litterally deciding the game. This is disgusting. Can the refs. Can Goddell.

  24. Jerry Jones must have bribed the refs.

    Not only the total pass interference against Dallas that was not called, but the holding against the Lions should have been offsetting penalties because one of the Cowboys offensive lineman was holding too and it was not called.

  25. I also saw the Detroit player with his hand on the dallas defender, pushing off. No call should have been the original call, not enough contact to call interference

  26. I have NEVER been someone who thought the nfl fixed games, until now… Ive never seen in my life a call change after announcement and it just happens to be with the team that makes the NFL the most money…

  27. Good no call. Read the rule book. The pass interference penalty ends once the ball is touched by any player. The ball hit the defender in the shoulder pad, ergo it was touched. The contact happened subsequent to it being touched. No pass interference.

  28. gbfanforever says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:28 PM
    Aikman thought it was a good call. Time for fox to send him home

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

    Really getting sick of seeing Aikman covering Cowboys games.

  29. also, a worthless PI against Detroit on Cole Beasely down the red zone didnt help…..

    Like it or not, Officials determined the outcome of this game with one, maybe two bad calls.

    GetItRight !

  30. There no excuse for that happening. All the more reason they should not break up officiating crews for the playoffs. The NFL should be ashamed. I’m not a fan of either team but this ruins the game for me.

  31. I’ve never seen a more obvious fix in the 35 years I’ve watched pro football. I’ve seen plenty of flags picked up but never, ever have I seen a penalty announced and marched off and THEN overturned. If I was a Lions fan I’d be sick right now.

  32. The only thing worse than the officiating in this game is watching Chris Chritie suck up to Jerry in Jone’s suite.

  33. The previous head of officiating stated it was PI, the defender grabbed before the ball ever arrived, faceguarded by throwing up his hands without turning his head around, its the definition of PI

  34. Never heard the penalty announced then picked up and announced a reverse.

    Some serious shenanigans there.

    Hopefully Detroit can pull it out cause they deserve to win

  35. That was way too obvious that the fix is in.

    The NFL has become one big turnoff lately, what a joke.

  36. “….I still think if I was an NFL coach I would specifically design a play that is a receiver just bombing down the field, the QB intentionally underthrows while the receiver turns back and runs into the DB….”

    not sure if you’re meaning to be sarcastic, but…

  37. Have no favorites in this game.. however with millions spent on players… billions on stadiums and still part time refs. Should have some way for NFL to reverse a situation like this…it’s about getting the call right so both teams can compete for the win.

  38. Completely disagree about it being PI, Pettigrew wasn’t working back to the ball, barely any contact. But the flag being picked up was SHOCKING. Never seen that before.

  39. The outcome of this game was pre-determined. You would think the refs would be a little more sneaky about fixing the game rather than make the worst call in the history of the NFL playoffs especially in today’s day and age

  40. It is a PI it used to be called face guarding if u don’t look for the ball it is pass interference. This is a blatant we want the cowboys ref crew as seen by the repeated calls on Detroit afterward for PI after Dallas couldn’t move the ball on their own. NFL is getting worse and worse with blatant favoritism!!!!

  41. Guys, the NFL is clearly fixed. As long as people finally realize that, you can enjoy the NFL for what it is, entertainment. Getting upset over the results of a game is like getting upset when Ric Flair was hitting Dusty Rhodes with a chair when the ref wasn’t looking.

  42. As a fan of one of the teams still in the playoffs, my biggest fear is not the opponent, but who refs the game.

  43. Mike Pereira said it was the first time he’s seen it, I think it’s the first time for all of us to see the first game replayed due to horrible officiating.

  44. Goodell is a proven liar already. That is an undeniable fact. So do you think someone with his total lack of integrity wouldn’t fix a game to advance one of his marquee teams? Damn right he would.

  45. NFL is all about money and since all the national outlets still waste an amazing amount of ink, web space and airwaves hyping up the cowgirls the nfl is going to do whatever it takes to keep them around for another week.

  46. Not only do the Lions have to beat the Cowgirls but they also have beat the refs. What a biased bunch of refs team. You can tell the refs are pro-Dallas. What a black mark on the NFL officiating. The NFL wants the cowgirls to win.

  47. I’m not surprised. Pete Morelli typically favors home teams during the playoffs and has a history of bad calls and non-calls impacting the game. Problem is the NFL won’t discipline him or make him available for the media after games to explain his actions. And we, as fans and the media, don’t hold the NFL accountable for incompetence. We reap what we sow.

  48. Man, look at all the NFL/Jerruh apologists posting plausible deniability to cover up for one of the most blatant bad calls in NFL history.

  49. No doubt much of the media will come to the defense of the NFL. No matter to me … I’m convinced the league is fixed. They all profit from high profile match-ups. I’ll play golf next week & boycott all games that involve Jerry Jones’ cash.

  50. I’m confident the refs will find some way to keep Detroit from scoring so don’t worry Cowboys fans…you’re safe.

  51. Penalties/Yards
    Detroit 7-39
    Dallas 6-46

    The PI/non-PI call wouldn’t have been caught anyway. He threw it straight into the DB’s back.

    This is still the best game of the weekend.

  52. I know that it’s in the rules, but I always hated that ‘face guarding’ penalty to begin with. I feel like as long as no contact is made, there shouldn’t be no penalty. Covering a wideout with today’s offensive bias is hard enough as it is. Just my opinion.

  53. I guess it’s been long enough since the NFL promoted the Bus getting a ring in his hometown, then the refs made sure of it.

    NFL figures they can do it again and stupid fans will accept it.

  54. Wow, I don’t think the refs could have done any more to hand that game to the Cowboys. What a disgrace. They may as well have worn Dallas jerseys

  55. Yeah, that was pretty BAD.

    But… Sadly… Detroit couldn’t get out of their own way, even with other opportunities.

    flag, flag, flag… 10, 15, 20 yards. Hand Dallas 7.

  56. Rigged game and refs should be fired. I hope the cowgirls get blown out by 50 next week. I feel for the Lions fans.

  57. Noticed how they quit talking about that call I bet they got the word to shut up about it !!!!!!

  58. There were more penalty yards called against Dallas than there were called against Detroit. Detroit just didn’t play as dominant in the second half as they did in the first and Dallas played a lot better in the second half. Saying the refs gave it to Dallas isn’t true.

  59. .
    The NFL isn’t a competition – it is entertainment.

    The highest entertainment value is Dallas vs GB.

    The refs will give the NFL what they want.

    The game is obviously fixed.

    Pathetic

  60. Well this is just the same old same old that has been going on for a long time in the NFL they have definite favorites that they will do everything they can to help with calls that influence the final score . I wonder who the refs will favor when the Dallas team plays Green Bay ? They are both darlings of the NFL , hmmm tough choice .

  61. The worst call I have ever seen. It is beyond obvious and is a disgrace to the great sport of football that just turned into “reality” T.V.

  62. So, did you see Chris Christie yuckin’ it up with Jones’s up in the owner’s box??? Now, like a typical politician, watch him run back home and tell the state of New Jersey “No one is a bigger Giants fan than me!!!”

  63. A lot of weirdness. Murray pulled his helmet off after his TD (yes,I know he was doing the chin strap snap yell thing) and the ref looked the other way, Dez Bryant ran out on the field to argue with a ref and he looked the other way. I’m sure the NFL isn’t rigged, way too many variables in a game to say that, but they definitely can influence momentum in a game with bad calls and no-calls.

  64. I was pulling for dallas, but not even the biggest cowboy fan can say that was a good call. The officials will never hear the end of that game changing blunder

  65. I’m a Packer fan and that was an unbelievable reversal on what was obviously pass interference by the Cowboys. Jerry Jones must have made a phone call, and he had them pick the flag up.

    The Lions got hosed on that call big-time. How can an official throw a flag on a play where it was unquestionably pass interference, and then it be picked up for no reason other than they wanted the Cowboys to win?

    The NFL preaches fair play and then you see stuff like this happen. It makes you wonder about the integrity of the game. Even Mike Pereira was stunned by them picking the flag up.

    The NFL is at times, a joke. It’s laughable. Then, to add insult to injury, they threw penalties on the Lions to help the Cowboys score the winning TD.

    I’m looking forward to the Packers playing them in Lambeau next week. But we can’t beat them and the officials, too.

    Lions fans — you were hosed today and I feel bad for you — honest.

  66. I won’t make excuses for the Lions’ abysmal second half, but those joke refs definitely skewed the outcome of that game. There was no reason to pick up that flag…

  67. This has completely ruined the NFL for me. I don’t know if it’s “a rogue official” like happened in the NBA or what, but I just watched a fixed game in the playoffs and it’s unacceptable to me.

  68. One it was face guarding. Call it any way you want but it’s an automatic 15 yard penalty when a player leaves the bench area. Detroit got screwed. Let’s see how Blandino explains his way out of this.

  69. All of you “Pettigrew pulled his facemask”, why was no penalty called? Number 1 is that the LB had a handful of jersey ALL the way down the field–that’s defensive holding; number 2–you cannot have contact past 5 yards past the LOS–which in reference to point No.1 there clearly was. This was a fixed game–even Aikman was shocked how many offensive holding calls the Cowboys got away with.

  70. This call/non-call was just as bad if not worse than the replacement refs call at the end of the Packers/Seahawks game years ago. In 40+ years of watching the NFL, I have NEVER seen a call announced and then having the officiating crew change it’s mind. Like many previous posters have already said, it is quite obvious how this will play out. The NFL will announce tomorrow that the flag shouldn’t have been picked up. Sorry Lions, good luck next week Cowboys. The NFL owes it’s millions of fans a detailed explanation of what unfolded on the field to change the call (but won’t).

  71. I think the problem on here for a lot of people is that Romo won another playoff game and the team as a whole battled it out and proved they deserve to go on. Complaints about the no call? Any rational person who saw the receiver grab the face mask knows why Hitchens didn’t turn his head towards the ball. Keep hating I as a cowboys fan would’ve rather seen them fight from behind to win a tough game than see them dominate a game. How bout them cowboys! Seattle fans we’re one game closer to you. Not that Green Bay will be easy but either way either Dallas or Green Bay will be coming.

  72. quit whining the games was not fixed, if so it would not have been this close. Sore loser’s!!!! Detroit always starts great and ends crappy, how about not shanking a a 10 yard punt (did the refs do that?)

  73. Anyone want to comment on the non call for running into Dallas’ punter? That should have been a flag right?

    There were missed calls on both sides. I felt that Detroit was getting breaks in the first half. Wait until the video comes out and we can all watch Pettigrew pull the defenders facemask.

  74. 1) Their was PI on the play or at least defensive holding.

    2) Flag was thrown for PI.

    3) PI was announced for everyone to hear, automatic first down.

    Someone please explain this to me. Out of all games this one was worth watching the most and I almost turned it off after that debacle because obviously the outcome has already been decided……by the NFL.

  75. This game was definitely rigged, there were so many holding calls that should have been called against the cowboys. The nfl should be embarrassed, it guess they really want the ratings for the Cowboys and the packers. What a disgrace.

  76. By the way, I hate the Lions and wanted to see them get beat, but not like that. When it’s obvious there’s something foul in the air, it goes against my grain. I don’t care who it’s against.

    If you think this is anything new, go back and watch that Super Bowl when the Steelers beat the Seahawks. I never saw a more one sided game called by officials in my life as in that one. Those officials should have been arrested because they stole any chance the Seahawks had to win that game.

    And we all remember the scab refs and how they hosed the Packers out of beating the Seahawks up in Seattle. That is still the worst call in the history of the NFL.

    The NFL has a serious credibility issue after that call in that game. They will no doubt do their usual spin and move on, but it sucks.

  77. The DPI was announced! Dez B came on the field to argue with referee, instant unsportsmanlike penalty not called . #thefix

  78. @kimosaaby

    How is Blandino going to explain this? Easy…”thanks for the party bus Jerry! Oh, they got the call correct on the field, our officials have a tough job but rarely make mistakes”.

  79. ohioclimate says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:35 PM
    Sorry folks. Read a rule book before spouting off about the refs. This was the right call.
    _________________________________

    You could not be more wrong. It was called interference by an official because it WAS interference and then it was reversed without any explanation. That is beyond suspicious.

    Look — the NBA had a crooked official, so don’t tell me it can’t happen in the NFL.

    And Aikman’s excuse that it was because these officials don’t normally work together was about as lame as it gets. What??? Aikman must have bet on the Cowboys.

    Horrible call and it cost the Lions the chance to win that game. Goodell ought to fire the whole crew, but he will be too busy partying it up with Jerry Jones.

  80. The picked up flag was as bad as the holding call on Witten…which by the way did what??? Negate a Cowboys TD. Which is it ladies??? Who are they fixing the game for??? Jerry getting favors from Goodell? How do you explain then the 20 year drought since they had a meaningful playoff win??? Let it go, mommy is calling to you from top of the basement stairs to tell your your microwave mac and cheese is ready—you still have your little video games–you are all heroes there, run along now.

  81. raveallday says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:35 PM
    Lions got robbed in clear day light.

    ———————————————————————

    Ask Sue if his feet are still frozen.

    BO WOO HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH

  82. If I didn’t hate the Lions, Id say that was incredibly suspicious.

    Seriously, it would have been a huge mistake to have not called PI in the first place but to call it and pick up the flag… that was really harsh. Inexplicable.

  83. Fixed. Clearly fixed.

    You cannot throw a flag, make a call and announce it on the PA system, and then announce that you are reversing the call. I want to hear an explanation.

  84. Let me start by saying, I was slightly pulling for Dallas in this game as I want to see them come back to Seattle for the proper dismantling they have coming.

    That being said, in the 30 + years I have been a die-hard NFL fan, to see that obvious Pass Interference get called, then picked up is not only baffling, but very concerning and disappointing.

    I actually lost interest in the game as it brought back feelings I had as I walked out of Ford Field following Superbowl XL.

    I feel really bad for Lions fans because it is an extremely hopeless feeling when the League shows you your team doesn’t matter.

    I love sports, especially football. But it is getting to a point where one’s instinct tells you that something is not right with the way these games are being officiated.

    I remember having this same feeling in the 90’s about the NBA and I many others eventually stopped watching as a result. The NFL is unfortunately heading down a similar path.

  85. Didnt anybody realize Pettigrew facemasked hitchens before any contact was made so if anything it should have been offensive PI

  86. Refs have been bad all season, it was just a matter of time until they blew it. With that being said the Lions stopped scoring, so give the Dallas D some credit. With that being sad glad dirty Suh and Raiola can go home, also that narrative blah blah can be put to some rest, Tony cant win a game blah blah.

  87. The Baltimore Ravens got away with a lot of holding on the Pittsburgh receivers yesterday also. The refs seem to be very slow and not in position. Refs should be much quicker on their feet than they are. A ref in the NFL should have to demonstrate quickness on their feet in addition to good eye sight.

  88. It should have been offensive if anything the contact was initiated by the Lion grabbing the facemask, watch the freakin replays. hitchens couldnt have turned to watch ball because of the facemask but either way face mask came first. The refs finally admitted to being wrong even though it would put there necks on the chopping block

  89. I’m so tired of reading crazy comments about how much the refs were paid to pick up their flags and how the fix was in. No one fixed anything. No one paid them anything. They’re just bad.

    Officiating in the NFL has been terrible for years. Super Bowl 40 was in 2005. It’s 10 years later and they’re still bad. And while Goodell blah-blahs endlessly about protecting the integrity of the shield, he hasn’t done one thing to improve officiating. This league makes BILLIONS of dollars but won’t hire full-time refs. You’ve got weekenders that are supposed to memorized a phone-book’s worth of rules that change every year. The crews don’t train together. And the crews for the playoffs have never worked together before. It’s a joke.

  90. Notice they never showed the owners box until Dallas was ahead. Surely JJ’s request.

    Back to the call, would love to have heard the explanation that was missed as Fox was showing the replay…all you could then here was the crowd.

  91. Cowboys won. And of course that 1 call decided it. Had nothing to do with both teams making plays and the Cowboys made 1 more then Detroit. I’ve learned over the years that the refs are human and are going to make mistakes but I’ve also learned that 1 bad call does not decide a football game with that much time remaining. Lions make a stop and they win. Cowboys made a stop when they needed to and they won. Quit with all of the talk about a fix being in. Grow up. Go Cowboys!!!!!!

  92. It’s about the money folks. Always is. Which team will produce more money? Is Stafford Brady or Manning??

    They sure as heck are trying to prop up Romo to be like them!

    It’s OK! He’ll choke like he always has.

  93. Just because someone wants to watch a game officiated correctly and on a level playing field doesn’t make them a “hater”.

    Grow up and get over yourself and your team.

    I highly doubt Packers fans are more worried now about the Dallas defense then they are the officiating crew that gets assigned for that game.

  94. Those people who are defending the officials and that terrible reversal of an obvious pass interference call must be the same ones who defended Adrian Peterson by saying his 4 year old son deserve to be beaten with a branch from a tree and Ray Rice by saying his wife deserved to be knocked out in an elevator.
    Clueless, just clueless.

  95. One playoff win in 57 years vs. one playoff win in 18 years – you knew somebody had to choke. Turns-out, it was the ref!

  96. In regards to the Holding, I think the NFL as a whole has allowed more holding across the League this season.

    I’ve noticed in MANY games all with different teams there are some egregious holding examples not getting called and they are occurring right in front of the officials.

    I was furious with the missed holding calls when Dallas played Seattle that Doug Free was allowed to get away with. But I’ve noticed the same in many other games with other teams as well.

    This would explain why sacks are down League wide for this season.

  97. I am a fan of neither team and I thought picking up the flag was 100% the right call. The defender didn’t run through the guy. He just broke up the pass. The offensive player was using his hands just as much as the defender. Good no call.

  98. JaminJake says:
    Jan 4, 2015 8:01 PM
    Anyone want to comment on the non call for running into Dallas’ punter? That should have been a flag right?

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

    He was pushed into the punter, and even after being pushed, he did everything he could to not hit the punter, so No, it shouldn’t have been a flag.

  99. Cowboy fan here… This is kinda like suh getting suspended and then not being suspended…

    Detroit got away with a lot of no calls. This was a makeup call and that’s How football go

  100. The NFL, much like the NBA, has proven to be less about sport and more about entertainment years ago….

    This doesn’t surprise me….

  101. Whether or not you agree with the PI call, there should’ve been a flag for Dez Bryant running onto the field and yelling at the official. That’s indisputable. They HAVE to flag that, otherwise it looks like Dez Bryant convinced the ref to pick up the flag…which is exactly what it looks like.

  102. ohioclimate says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:31 PM

    Good no call. Read the rule book. The pass interference penalty ends once the ball is touched by any player. The ball hit the defender in the shoulder pad, ergo it was touched. The contact happened subsequent to it being touched. No pass interference.
    ==================================
    Were you gathered around your old-fashioned radio listening to the game with your family? Quite an imagination there.

  103. Hey read the rulebook dipstick. The former head of nfl officials called it a clear pass interference I think he knows the rule book! The biggest issue is that NO explanation was given at all. It’s obvious to me the nfl is fixing games. Shame.

  104. It WAS a bad call, but I’m still glad Detroit lost. Suh is as dirty as they come and Tate is pond scum, so they don’t deserve to advance, even if it takes a bad call to eliminate them. Good riddance!

  105. And the fact that it happened after Dez where’s my pacifier bryang stormed the field without a helmet and there was no call for that either is a complete disgrace

  106. And the fact that it happened after Dez where’s my pacifier bryang stormed the field without a helmet and there was no call for that either is a complete disgrace to the nfl and the Dallas cowboys.

  107. Picking up the flag was correct. From the NFL rule book:

    Actions that do not constitute pass interference include but are not limited to:
    ….
    (c) Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the pass is clearly uncatchable by the involved players.

    As we know, the officials are usually very generous about what constitutes a “catchable” pass; if the ball comes down within 30 feet of the receiver and less than 10-15 feet out of bounds, the assumption is that “well, he might have been able to catch it”.

    In this case, “uncatchable” is correct: if I’m covering you and your quarterback throws the ball into my back, it doesn’t matter if I’m touching you, or a foot away from you, or ten feet away from you; in all cases it is impossible for you to catch the ball, because the ball never gets to you.

  108. I’m taking the bait on each post and commenting without reading beyond the headlines bc we know its all about. Oahe views.
    living in dc as a dallas fan is priceless. The first half sounded like it was rg3 running for 80 yd tds and not golden tate scoring.
    hey at least you can try to steal russell Wilson’s gf again right?

    Great to see dallas win a game when them only that was a dline powered by a plaurr who should or should not have been playing. As a boys fan i wont make the call but leave it open to eagles skins vikings and packers fans. Sorry giants/bears you don’t count

  109. steelerrc says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:23 PM
    Pete Morelli is a horrible NFL official. He should have been fired a few years ago for overturning a Troy Polamalu INT in Indy in the playoffs…
    ———————————————————
    Morelli screwed the Browns years ago, claiming a game ending FG was no good when replay clearly showed it was good, he did in the Packers a few years back claiming a wr was out of bounds on a perfectly good catch and let’s not forget how he let the saints (bountygate) take countless illegal shots on B. Favre in the 2009 NFC championship game and now this mysterious flag pick up of a clear PI. How does Morelli keep his job much less get picked to go playoff games?????????????????

  110. Morelli is the same ref who performed a blatant hatchet-job on the Vikings in the 2009 NFC championship game with the Saints. There were no less than 5 or 6 horrendous calls or non-calls, all against the Vikings (the visiting team), which cost the Vikings that game. It was clear to everyone (including ESPN) that Morelli was either incompetent or biased. Why is he still employed by the NFL???

  111. First, I am neither a Cowboys or lions fan, nor hater.

    Watching football for 40 years, have never seen this. All pass interference calls are subjective. But the flag was thrown, the call was made. I have never seen a penalty disregarded like this, without explanation. Pi can be waived off in cases such as tipped at the line, etc.

    Watching the replay (business insider has a good gif of it):
    -the defender never turned to look (which I have seen pi called where there was zero contact, just two players standing there and it hits the defender in the back, and it is called)
    -the folks claiming the receiver grabbed the face ask are either just plain nuts or liars without morales. Watch the replay.
    -if anything the defender further pushed the receiver away from the ball, denying him the opportunity to try to catch it around the defender

    A no call would have been one thing (I.e. It looked like interference, but was not called) but this was called, and then waived off without any explanation.

    Totally hinky. Remember the nfl is a business first, and the Cowboys winning is best for the business. There will be some lame explanation tomorrow about how it was waived off due to lack of communication issues on the field, and the rg will talk about how these sorts of calls and scenarios will be reviewed in the owners meeting, blah,blah so to further muddy the water and give Detroit fans some satisfaction by indirectly signaling it was a bad call without invalidating the Cowboys win.

  112. As a neutral, could go either way on the call, but no way it can be changed after being announced. Plus the Dez penalty was clear. And then a couple dubious ones on Detroit on the next drive. Not saying it was a fix, but sure looks like it could be.

  113. I at least give this cowboy fan credit for having enough integrity to admit it was a sh*t call…

    starfan79 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 9:01 PM
    Cowboy fan here…

    Detroit got away with a lot of no calls. This was a makeup call and that’s How football go

  114. don’t get me wrong im leaning towards pi. But lets be real all the holding penalties on the defensive backfields, hits to the head on qb etc. its all becoming bull. let them play football. if theyre going to call bull they should be able to review it.

  115. What a dumb sport to watch when the refs affect critical moments of the game. I’m not saying the Lions would have won, but the sport is losing credibility when crap like this happens.

  116. I agree it should have never been called….he clearly did not interfere with the receiver catching the ball. He would not have caught the ball whether he touched him or not. It was just a bad pass. Refs shouldnt pick up a flag so late but definitely need to pick up a flag when it decides a game. Dez on the field without his helmet should have been called but do you really want win a game on a couple cheap calls. All the penalties called on Detriot were obviously penalties. The true better team prevailed.

  117. @tx1955d the problem was they called it PI then minutes later they announce its 4th down, no explanation just that its 4th down that is whats driving fans to anger , its just not cricket. Oh and by the way the retired head of refs Periera or however you spell it said IT WAS DEF, pass interference so its not just us crazy anti cowboy haters

  118. Pretty sure “a” applies here…

    It is pass interference by either team when any player movement beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible player of such player’s opportunity to catch the ball. Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched. Defensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is thrown until the ball is touched.

    Actions that constitute defensive pass interference include but are not limited to:

    (a) Contact by a defender who is not playing the ball and such contact restricts the receiver’s opportunity to make the catch.

    (b) Playing through the back of a receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

    (c) Grabbing a receiver’s arm(s) in such a manner that restricts his opportunity to catch a pass.

    (d) Extending an arm across the body of a receiver thus restricting his ability to catch a pass, regardless of whether the defender is playing the ball.

    (e) Cutting off the path of a receiver by making contact with him without playing the ball.

    (f) Hooking a receiver in an attempt to get to the ball in such a manner that it causes the receiver’s body to turn prior to the ball arriving.

  119. It is unfortunate but well documented and proven statistically (see the book Scorecasting) that referees across all sports always have a bias toward the home team. Why? Because they are human and enjoy the accolades and cheers of the home team fans. Sounds a bit crazy but it is true – whether consciously or not.

  120. Wow!! Awful reversal. Refs look like buffoons.. Guess NFL really wanted Dallas Green Bay game so much so they look foolish .. Shameful.. I am a Lions fan..but really this wasn’t even a close call PI no doubt about it.. I can hardly wait for the lame explanation if there ever is one.

  121. What little cintact was made did not restrict the receiver from catching the ball…..the terrible pass restricted him from catching the ball…..stop reaching folks bad passes shouldn’t be rewarded with bad calls.

  122. Morelli was the Head Official in 2009 NFC Championship Game. He blew the high/low bounty hit on Favre……he was looking right at Favre being murdered high and low,and didn’t throw the flag.

    The NON CALL result was Favre threw an INT, and the tide turned back to the ‘aints.

    He was also missed it when Pirre Thomas didn’t make a crucial 1st down in OT,and also when Ben Lieber was called for aphantom Pass Intereference…….all calls favoring the ‘aints.

    All calls afterward were said they were WRONG CALLS by the league!!!!! Vikings get an apoloigy by the league office,but it is too late!!!!

    But the game is over!!!!!!

    How does this guy-Morelli- keep getting these important games?????????

    WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  123. 1. Receiver pulls Hitchens facemask
    2. Contact is minimal between defender/receiver.
    3. Ball is so underthrown that it hits defender in the arse.
    4. Suh should not have been allowed to play.
    5. We’ve moved on to Green Bay.

  124. Win more games and you get home field advantage. …lol….poor losers. You got beat face it. Stop us from scoring if you deserve to win ……like we did. You dont have go home you just got to get outta here. Bye sore losers

  125. Terrible way to have a good game be affected be a controversial call, or no-call, in this instance. Please correct me if I’m wrong, as I understand it, the defensive player has to make a play for the ball. It was clear he did not do it in this instance. The retired referee on-air explained it as being due maybe to “the crew not having worked together long enough and not trusting each other.”

    That was bad. Wonder how many more calls the Cowboys are gonna get during these playoffs.

  126. oldcowboyfan0113 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 8:32 PM
    Why are haters from other teams besides lion fans even posting? It must be all of the I hate the Cowboys haters showing a united front…
    ————

    Because everyone was watching this criminal activity and only Dallas fans think nothing was improper about it.

  127. doe22us says:
    Jan 4, 2015 8:22 PM

    Refs have been bad all season, it was just a matter of time until they blew it. With that being said the Lions stopped scoring, so give the Dallas D some credit. With that being sad glad dirty Suh and Raiola can go home, also that narrative blah blah can be put to some rest, Tony cant win a game blah blah.

    —————————————————————

    I agree Tony can win a game. All he needed was “good” officiating.

  128. Nobody wants to talk about Cowboys being penalized for running into the kicker which clearly was not a penalty and gave the Lions a fresh set of downs instead of setting Cowboys up in Lions territory and which the Lions ultimately scored a TD on. If it was a penalty then it should have been called on Detroit the next possession when the Cowboys kicker really was ran into, but it was not. And who’s to say the Lions would have came away with a TD and not a field goal or turned the ball over if the call would have went their way. The bottom line is would have, could have, should have, but the Detroit Lions did not. I bet the Lions coach didn’t tell his team after the loss, “Don’t worry about it guys, we got screwed out of that game because of that no call.” I bet it was more like ” Hey, the Cowboy’s clearly outplayed us and they did something else we failed to do, and that is finish the game.”

  129. Dude please. That was textbook running into the kicker. Why are you trying to spin this as if the officiating was bad for both teams and not just slanted AGAINST Detroit?

  130. So I guess if the call would have went Detroit’s way, they would have scored a touchdown and not had to settle for a field goal or maybe even turned the ball over. Bottom line is the call did not go Detroit’s way, just like some calls did not go the Cowboys way. You can’t use one call as an excuse for not achieving what you set out for, which is a win. No one knows that it would have changed the outcome of who walked away a winner. It is what it is. Suck up the loss and move on.

  131. Pete Morelli is the worst head official in the NFL. An absolute embarrassment to say the least. Seems like he can’t referee a single playoff game without at least one significant botched call.

  132. Pettigrew grabbed the DB’s facemask before the defensive pass interference. there are links showing this.

    I just think its amazing people get so conspiratorial about this w/o even looking at the entire play.

  133. “harrisonhits2 says:Jan 4, 2015 7:22 PM – In the reply you can see Detroit’s receiver clearly grabbed the DBs face mask and pulled the defensive player into contact. There was no contact until he did so. If anything it was offensive PI.”

    The WR slightly contacted the LBs facemask on the play (never pulled). The LB NEVER turned around to see the ball. The LB clearly interfered with the WR on the play. If anything the penalties were off-setting – replay the down. Why the F. is Dez Bryant allowed onto the field without a helmet to argue the play?

  134. Detroit lost because their offense sucked for the whole 2nd half. Go watch the video of the play and watch as the Lion receiver pulls the Dallas defender’s face mask. Was that not a penalty? Besides, it’s not like a TD was called back like on the bogus holding call on Witten. The Lions had plenty of time to win the game and couldn’t get it done, so go cry about that Lion fan.

  135. If it looks like a Fix and smells like a Fix, then it is a Fix. The NFL would have lost 10’s of millions of dollars if the Cowboys would have lost !!!!!

  136. How in the hell can a referee party on Jerrah’s bus and be allowed to ref Jerrah’s game? It would be like having your nephew be the judge at your court hearing.

  137. The refs gave the game to the Lions the first half with not making and hold calls that was clearly happening. So there never should have been a pass interference call because clearly he was holding his mask and how could he have turned his head?

  138. The refs gave the game to the Lions the first half with not making any hold calls that was clearly happening. So there never should have been a pass interference call because clearly he was holding his mask and how could he have turned his head?

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