Controversial call helps Cowboys to comeback win over Lions

AP

The Dallas Cowboys are going on to Green Bay for a divisional-round matchup with the Packers.

The Detroit Lions are going home angry about what might have been, if not for a truly bizarre piece of officiating.

With the Lions leading 20-17 in the fourth quarter, a pass interference call that gave the Lions a first down well into Dallas territory was picked up without explanation by referee Pete Morelli. That turned into a huge benefit for the Cowboys, as the Lions shanked a punt on the next play and the Cowboys took advantage of their good field position to march down the field and score the go-ahead touchdown to take a 24-20 lead.

That call — which former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira criticized during the FOX broadcast of the game — will live in infamy in Detroit. It cost the Lions a great chance to win their first playoff game since 1991. But there’s nothing the Lions can do now except sit home and watch while the Cowboys move on in the playoffs.

The Cowboys team that’s moving on is a team led by quarterback Tony Romo, who turned in a big performance today that should silence anyone who questions whether he can play well in a big game. Romo was under relentless pressure for much of the game, but he played very well anyway, completing 19 of 31 passes for 293 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Lions’ run defense mostly held DeMarco Murray in check, although Murray did score a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play that helped spur the Cowboys’ comeback. But Murray will surely be a threat for the rest of the playoffs, particularly in the elements in Green Bay.

Detroit was moving the ball at will on the Lions’ defense early in the game, but the Cowboys stiffened up late in the game. Dallas will have a tough test next weekend against Aaron Rodgers and Co.

And that should be a good game. The Cowboys and the Packers at Lambeau Field is what the NFL is all about. Even if Lions fans think it should be their team moving on.

415 responses to “Controversial call helps Cowboys to comeback win over Lions

  1. Some times you have to take what is given to you. Tough call for the Lions.Great game all around.

  2. Wow. Conspiracy theorists, start your engines. Worst call in the history of the NFL. Well, top 5 easy.

  3. this game was fixed there was no way Detroit could win when the refs fixed the game for dallas . the hell with the nfl. wont be watching this crap no more

  4. The cowboys are a bunch of overrated bums who need the refs to win.have fun getting destroyed in greenbay next week and cowgirl fans will be back under their rocks like usual.

  5. Lions got totally screwed!! The fix was in because the NFL wants their precious Cowgirls to win!!
    What a joke!!!

  6. Is anyone surprised? Lions extend to 22 years without winning a playoff game, and Matthew Stafford still can’t beat a winning team on the road. Best game of the weekend though. Better luck next year.

  7. Dez on the field is by far the worst part. Automatic first down for that and Lions keep driving. But NFL wants Packers-Cowboys so the right calls don’t matter.

  8. Disgusting. I hope Dallas gets their doors blown off next week.

    Lost in all of this though is Caldwell the Coward not going for it on 4th down after the egregious non-call. He may be the nicest guy in the world but he has no guts at all.

  9. Lions let one get away from them there.

    Love that officiating. Pick up the flag on PI, then flag the Detroit defense multiple times.

  10. Don’t have a dog in the fight…
    Controversial? more like garbage.
    I just hope the Lions players and coaches call out the officials for doing it.

  11. 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.

  12. Early in the 4th quarter the Lions ran a 3rd down play where fouls were committed on both offense and defense…the refs called off-setting penalties, but ruled the play 4th down….ummm isn’t off-setting penalties supposed to = replay previous down?

  13. Look, I normally don’t sit and complain about officiating, and one play doesn’t make a game.

    But that was a clear cut penalty, it was called, and then picked up?

    That play changed the game, Pete Morelli should be looked at.

  14. Oh shut up, it was the correct call, I don’t care what the clown on television told everyone. AMERICA’S TEAM BABY WHAT’S UP BWAHAHAHA

  15. As a Bears fan this will be my strangest post. I am angry the Lions got absolutely jobbed by the refs on that “call – nevermind – no-call after all.” And I am openly rooting for GB to smash Dallas to get revenge.

  16. No fan should have to listen to Aikman do color analysis when their team plays the Cowboys. He’s not only biased he’s condescending.

  17. I am happy to see the Cowboys coming to Lambeau. Frankly, I believe that the Panthers will give the Seahawks a much better game than the Lions would have.

    Having said that, were I a Lions fan…. holy cow. Stafford and company got totally TOTALLY jobbed. I have never seen the like.

    The Packers will take care of business. The Seahawks will probably escape a much closer game than they expect. Together the NFC Championship game will be the REAL Superbowl.

    Lions fan… Wow. Just wow.

  18. What goes around comes around. All teams get robbed now and then; just depends on what game you are talking about. I’m sure the luck will even out next week or soon after for the Cowboys. Still, if you say the refs blew the game, the team that lost shouldn’t have let it be that close.

  19. Worst call in NFL history. Period. It may not be corruption, but it’ll be hard to prove otherwise. If I was a Detroit fan I’d be organizing a street protest right now.

  20. But I will be honest, after watching the first half, I thought Dallas was going to lose.

    Go Cowboys. You’re going to have to play a lot better next week to win.

  21. So the bidding war begins……who will pay the refs more at Lamebeau…….GB or Jerrah.

    I gotta believe Jerrah has the upper hand, but then again, history shows GB will be one and done anyway!!

  22. The refs handed Dallas this game on a silver platter. The NFL should be embarrassed. There’s no excuse for those “non calls”.

  23. I disagree with Mike P. The defender did not make contact with the receiver. You do not have to “look back to the ball” if there is no contact.
    Morelli, who is terrible, should have explained it.

  24. How can anyone with half a brain say this game wasn’t fixed. It’s a joke what this game as become. I’m sure the refs will be on Jerry’s party bus tonight.

    Dallas fans shouldn’t even celebrate the victory. What a joke.

  25. In the 2nd replay angle you can clearly see Detroit’s receiver reach out and grab the DBs face mask. Which first prevented the DB from turning his head back to look for the ball, and also the pulled the DB into contact. It was offensive PI if it was anything.

  26. from a vikings fan, some officiating that greatly resembled the 2009 nfc championship game, from the same head ref. Wow.

  27. This was the most disgusting 4th qtr of any game I have ever seen. My team has been out long time ago. Don’t think I will watch anymore games this season. The NFL has become a joke!!

  28. This is going to have a NBA Tim Donaghey like ending to it because Detriot had a referee steal the game from them.

    I can’t believe they announced it and picked up the flag – I thought maybe I heard wrong. WOW. Explain that one Blandino

  29. Good thing Suh was wrongly active for this game. Makes this win even sweeter! Let the whining commence from the Lions and watch the winning commence for the real team here!

  30. I’m tired of seeing posts about how the Lions were cheated. Hey watch the replay again. Pettigrew has his hands on that guy’s face mask on the same play, so technically it should’ve been offsetting penalties.

  31. Lions should have had that game put away earlier – never leave it in the hands of the refs. This game was theirs for the taking – the Lions d-line dominated for 3 quarters.

  32. When you finally accept this league is fixed? Same officials, same mistakes, no accountability. If the league wanted better officiating they would get it which only leads to one conclusion, it is fixed. League wanted Dallas so bad the message came down through the headsets to pick it up.

    When director of officials is seen partying on the Dallas party bus and still has a job, something is wrong.

    I hope the entire Dallas team comes down with the Flu next week and all of them end up in the hospital unable to play.

  33. Just too much to ask to let the players be the only ones to fully determine the outcome of a game influence the game…tainted

  34. While I agree that the no-call was outrageous (as well as the no-call on the takedown of Ziggy on the touchdown play–blatant holding right at the point), the main takeaway for me from the game and the season is that Caldwell has very small cojones. 4th and 1 from the Dallas 45, up by 3 with 7 minutes to go–as a road dog in a playoff game no less–and the Lions are punting. Just like they punted twice inside the GB 40 last week.

    Ultimately you’re going to have to take chances to win big, and having a coach this risk-averse is a detriment.

  35. The Steelers are but secured a win in Indianapolis in 2006 (2005 post-season) as Troy Polamalu intercepted P. Manning. He went to the ground with the ball, then got up and started to run, kneed the ball loose then fell on it. Peter Morelli, using some tortured logic other than, you know, the rules, decided it wasn’t an interception. The Steelers held on thanks to an idiotic kicker missing a field goal at the end but Pete Morelli is a train wreck.

  36. The Fox crew are morons. We saw exactly that PI call in the 2006 AFCC. Face Guarding was the call. I forget the CB’s name, but he got an apology from the league. Face guarding was taken off the books. (I think in 2005, but it might have been earlier.)

  37. Worst of all, the defensive P.I. was called on the field, so it took an affirmative intervention by someone to erase — what ANY sighted human could see was a legit call.

    Even worse, the purpose of the officials is to ensure a fairly called game — and this crew did quite the opposite of that, polluting the rest of the 2015 post-season.

    Not cool, NFL.

    Not cool at all.

  38. all of u saying lions were robbed on the PI call need to watch the replay, Calvin Johnson had Hitchens by the face mask which offsets the penalty but nice try and hahahaha Cowboys win!!!!

  39. Not to take anything away from the Cowboys, they played a great game, and I’ve honestly been rooting for them lately because I’m tired of all the unfair criticism of Romo and Garrett as if they (and Jerry Jones) are the only ones apart of the organization but the Lions were CLEARLY robbed here, I mean come on, clear pass interference, the guy’s not even playing the ball. And don’t give me that “his facemask was getting pulled” crap, he could’ve turned around.

  40. Officiating sucked all weekend. Way to many questionable penalties called in all games. Then on a blatant PI they don’t call it. Not a fan of Dallas or Detriot but that call was bad for football.

  41. Not a fan of either team. But seriously? We gotta listen to the “Lions got robbed” thing all offseason? If the Lions wanted to win, they should have played better on all the OTHER offensive plays.

  42. No one noticed that when DM ran in for TD and holding was called that after the play DB got flagged for taunting yet it was never penalized. Should have enforced holding and then deadball foul unsportslike conduct. NFL just ignores the flag was ever thrown.

  43. Worst call ever and that’s saying a lot along with no reason from the refs as to why the flag was picked up.

  44. This is the reason so many people dislike the Cowboys and their fans. Not only was that call PI but there was no unsportsmanlike conduct flag given to Dallas for Bryant running onto the field of play without a helmet to argue with the officials. NO ONE SAW THAT?

  45. I don’t believe the game was fixed, but the NFL has a lot of explaining to do on that call, which was announced & marked off then undone. If they didn’t call it in the first place fine, but don’t mark it off & then just say never mind. Oh, & how about a helmet less Dez coming on the field to argue the call? No call there either.

  46. Not a Lion fan, just one of millions of viewers who witnessed the Lions get a major-league hosing by the NFL on behalf of one of the league’s “marquee” teams.

  47. It would have been 1st & 10 on the cowboys 29 yd line w/ 8:18 to go Lions leading 20-17.

    It was announced as a penalty by the referee on microphone… then changed 10 seconds later off microphone.

    Man does that look shady.

  48. Picking up the flag was 100% wrong. If there’s any justice at all, Green Bay will win next weekend. Go Packers!

  49. Wow, first the refs in GB and then in Dallas and it’s blatant enough for non Detroit fans to see… It doesn’t matter how well the Lions win. Embarrassing and sad.

  50. Honestly, I can’t believe that call. Detroit, you got screwed over.

    But honestly, both teams silenced a lot of doubters, and both teams will be in the playoffs for many years to come.

    Good luck next week Cowboys. Hoping for a great game between two great teams.

    GO PACKERS!

  51. It’s not only Lions fans that know the fix was in, anyone with eyeballs could see that! Check that Ref’s bank account! Sad thing is that the NFL will explain that it was the right call like they always do after they screw up!

  52. Something to keep in mind with the PI call that was overturned, and the rules regarding whether a defender has to be “Playing the ball”- If the defender is not interfering with the WR, he doesn’t have to get turned around or play the ball at all. There is no halo rule. If the ball had gotten there a second later, or the WR had attempted to come back to the ball resulting in contact, it would have been PI. The guy had no clue where the ball was, but by luck he was just in the path of the ball between the QB and WR, and not interfering.

  53. Next weekend’s game is all about Romo. He is a Favre-like figure, who can either blow it for his team, or pull one out of his A## like no other.

    What we know, though, is that the Packers pass D is susceptible. Remember Julio Jones in that Atlanta game? Well, Dez Bryant > Julio Jones.

  54. Stafford threw the ball in the back of the trailing defender. A penalty would just be a gift.

    A receiver slowing down in some ways causes the contact.

    I can’t remember seeing a Pass Interference call overruled (if that is what happened).

  55. Just a reminder to the Packers to bury the Cowboys early so a “non-call” doesn’t come back to bite them in the butt.

  56. So with two teams that have the refs in their payroll you have to wonder how the packers/cowboys game will play out.

  57. It just doesn’t feel right, I think the NFL over did it today, they’ll never get all the fans back they lost today.

    That was a horrible embarrassment for the league.

  58. Cowboy fans will know how Detroit fans are feeling today, when the lamblow refs gift the game to the packers next week. Book it.

  59. Since when is it legal for a player to run off the bench with no helmet and argue with the refs? Got to love the 20 flags thrown on the game winning drive against the lions.Shame on you NFL.

  60. @thekiy: Agreed, and I actually posted what a good job they where doing?!! I should had known better. This is the NFL horrible calls! It started with the pick up on the PI and started down hill from there?? I have no idea what happened? I’m not a Lions fan or a Cowboys fan? But I feel for all you Detroit fans and the City! Sorry guys, the NFL stuck it to you. Sad man, sad

  61. When Suh got cleared to play, it jinxed the Lions. What goes around comes around. Suh was destined to go home unhappy tonight. It was fate in form of a striped uniform.

  62. Will Republicans vote for a fat guy in a peach sweater that gave Jerry Jones a figurative tongue bath on national tv? Chris Christie, a president is suppose to be the leader not the cheerleader.

  63. Not many bad calls determine the entire game but that one came awfully close. I feel for the city of Detroit, their fans, and the team. That was a jacked up call considering it was a point of emphasis by the league and has been favoring the offensive receiver all year…….except in the playoffs when it counts the most.

  64. HOW BOUT dem…… That call was big but the lions look like they were going to win this in a blow out. 14-0 lead and only got field goals the rest of the way. Unless the refs started guarding the lions , the non call may have helped but the Cowboys still won the game by making more plays in the second half.

  65. Not just the inexplicable pick up of the flag AFTER it was already announced, but no flag thrown on Dez Bryant who came onto the field with his helmet off to argue the call on that play. Should have been an unsportsmanlike penalty on Dallas too. Would have changed the game.

  66. The forecast calls for a very cold weekend in Green Bay. Cowboys haven’t lost on the road. Bank on this, the Packers will crush JJ dreams that no payola can change.

  67. You crybabies act like the refs took away a touchdown from Detroit. SNIFF, SNIFF, SNIFF. It was the correct call. AMERICA’S TEAM BABY BWAHAHAAHAHA

  68. So the ref’s throw flags, then pick them up, to help dallas win, so the NFL can have their pre-picked playoff game of GB VS DAl, next week….

    Who is going to get jobbed in that one? Both of them are the NFL’s babies…

    Oh well… Who cares. I found this year, that after old rog has screwed up so many things in his rulings, that I just haven’t cared as much about football…. Atleast the NFL anyways…

    But, after all of that… Lions got hosed by the NFL and uncle jerry…

  69. After watching that obvious penalty flag got picked up WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION.It kind of take me back to my teenage yrs of watching WWF wrestling.
    AT least they had the decency to warn me to not get worked up since the outcome is already decided .

    Even the FANS on twitter in places like Columbia are saying even the CARTELS there can’t even SCARED the REFS to be that shady.

  70. You got your Suh…now you got your offseason. Stop crying! You had your Defense out there and got Romo’d.

    Now on the road where they are MUCH better.

  71. seahawkz4life says:
    Jan 4, 2015 5:31 PM
    As long as Detroit takes these chumps out…Im cool with that. A ton of Dallas fans were already talking about going to the nfccg

  72. The NFL has pulled ahead of pro wrestling with fixed outcomes. Truly a disgrace to a once proud sport.

  73. I don’t like the Lions, but the Cowboys were given that win by the officials. Remembers me of the infamous Seattle “interception” vs the Packers

  74. arwiv says:
    Jan 4, 2015 5:34 PM
    There is honestly nothing better in football than seeing the Cowboys go down in flames when the stakes are high.

  75. The Lions are a Dirty Garbage football Team!!

    Controversial call makes no difference, Lions are not a playoff team, Garbage!

    2 playoff appearances in a 100 years!

    G@rbage football for G@rbage people(Hyzers): Detroit Lions!

  76. leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 5:35 PM
    wow how can dallas look this crappy already? they knew this isnt best of 5 right?

  77. Flag shouldn’t have been thrown in the first place. Strange to see it picked up but it wasn’t blatant PI to begin with. We all say we just want the refs to let them play and then when they do- people freak out!
    Great game by the Lions but you have to hand it to Dallas for battling back. Really looking forward to Cowboys vs. Packers. Should be fun!

  78. It ain’t just this game I swear every game I watch is fixed they need to fire the whole crew of officials and start over with college crews and the college system of replaying every play

  79. irishgary says:
    Jan 4, 2015 6:33 PM
    Cowboy fans can say whatever they want, but the cowboys are incredible chokers.

    Packer fan

  80. horrible screw job. The defenders left arm pushed Grew’s left shoulder prior to the ball getting there and didn’t get his head around. EASY CALL.

    HUGE

    SCREW

    JOB

    NFL=WWE

  81. The refs have been helping the Cowboys all year. Just watch their Oline hold somebody every other play with no calls. This is just sick. America needs an explanation.

  82. I don’t like the fact that they pick up the flag after announcing the call but at least it gives you haters something to say since you can’t talk about Romo choking or “one and done”.

  83. How bout ‘dem Cowboys ! Ref was told if he didn’t pick up the flag, Chris Christie was going to eat him.

  84. If All u cry babies watch the play u will see pettigrew running his route with his hand locked onto the LBs facemask the whole time..why u not making an issue of that?

  85. So where are the silly trolls who thought the Lions had won the game in the first half? (Pssst! Football games have two halves, just fyi)

  86. The most important play was Caldwell punting 4th and 1 after the shameful call.
    By punting, he showed his team they are cowardly Lions. Notice they had to go for it 4th and 3 down 4 when they could have put pressure earlier.
    The league didn’t fix this game, guys. The league fixes EVERY game that mattters.
    The simple NFL fix rules:
    1. Star quarterbacks get calls.
    2. Famous teams ( Steelers, Pats, Packers, Patriots ) get calls.
    3. Home teams get calls when it is a crap game.
    This simple formula makes for the best TV financial package.
    If your team gets gifted like the Cowboys did today, most are happy. My only question is why anyone roots for/follows the Cards/Jags/Panthers/Browns/Lions EVER because they get shafted weekly and annually.
    The NFL is not a football competition folks, it’s pure money entertainment just above a Broadway show.

  87. bigredgoog says: Jan 4, 2015 7:58 PM

    Stafford threw the ball in the back of the trailing defender. A penalty would just be a gift.

    A receiver slowing down in some ways causes the contact.

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

    How do you explain Pettigrew’s jersey getting pulled? Come on guys, Mike Pereira even said that was an absolute joke.

  88. 33Vikings–what the heck were you watching? The LB was holding his jersey all the way down the field. And yes, the defender has to play the ball not the man, so he has to turn to look for the ball.

  89. And they blamed it on the crews never working together…HUH? A Pass Interference rule is a freakin’ PASS INTERFERENCE RULE!!! How freakin’ smart do you have to be to be an NFL referee….. Geesh…PATHETIC call!!!!

  90. Did I see Dex Bryant (who wasn’t in the game) come on the field and confront an official before the flag was picked up? Despite the clearly terrible pickup, why was not he flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct? Perhaps I saw it wrong, but I there may have been two terrible non-calls on the play.

  91. Bottom line haters is the cowboys live to fight another day and that stings ya. Oh well. On to green bayy.

  92. I can feel for the Lions fans. Tough call. It doesn’t take away from the fact the Cowboys were rallying the entire 2nd half, but hate to see a non-call like that.

    Impartial fan here, didn’t have a dog in this hunt.

  93. Well, maybe the Lions can use Suh to appeal that one. But wait … the NFL will just fine the ref crew $70 thousand (Jerry can pay that for them with the loose change in his pocket), and let the no-call stand. Maybe the refs can claim a “frozen arm” defense ….

  94. Pettigrew was tugging on the defender’s facemask on that play, but still, you can’t pick up a flag that late. The camera shot of the owner’s suite at the end of the game was the only thing more disgusting than that call. Who was the fat guy in the red shirt?

  95. When Blandino was seen partying with Dallas execs earlier in the week, then this goes down on national TV…

    Look,I am not saying it was fixed, but this looks really, really bad.

    This will not go away quietly, not at all.

  96. I forgot that it was the refs who shanked the punt on the next play after this no call. And it was the refs who converted a 4th and 6 against that lions d. And it was the refs who ran it in on a 4th and goal……get real guys. One call doesn’t make or break a game, and if it does you didn’t play well enough. Also, too many cap calls BOTH ways to support a claim that a fix was in.

  97. Ooops!

    seahawkz4life says:
    Jan 4, 2015 6:22 PM
    I guess you Dallas fans cant look ahead to GB after all, doubt Romo will bring them back

  98. To all you morons who think the ” fix” was in or the refs will be getting extra cash or any of those other stupid comments……..

    GET A LIFE!!!

    P.S. Not a Dallas fan

  99. No call was the right call. The ball wad underthrown. Too many times nfl refs call ticky tack flags. It’s time to call it more like college. Let the players decide the outcome instead of ticky tack flags.

  100. Can’t believe how blatant that “no-call” was. OMG!!!!! Guess the league will just apologize to the Lions this week, ending with an “oh, well”.
    Refs and Cowboys should be ashamed of themselves.

  101. Not a fan of either team, but that was horrible.

    And once again, the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the NFL powers-that-be. Instead of going with the officiating crews that work together all season, some brilliant brain at NFL HQ thinks its a great idea to create new officiating crews who have never worked together before.

    No matter what the NFL does lately, they seem to find a way to screw it up.

    Bad enough that the games are at times unwatchable because of the amount of ticky-tack flags that get thrown, but then for the officials to pick up a flag for a blatant PI call, is just too much. This year’s playoffs are already tainted.

    I’m finding it tougher and tougher to be a fan.

  102. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for the FIRST Time ever, I’m agreeing with Joe Toronto. He nailed it. The officials make calls all over the field, but somehow no one throws a flag for Dez Bryant running onto the field without his helmet to argue the call. I really can’t think of a call/non-calls this bad in 40+ years of watching the NFL. Can’t wait to see how quickly the Commish changes the subject on this one. I’m sure he will find someone to fine for not having their socks pulled up.

  103. Look at the bright side. No serious injuries for the Lions; they land in Detroit at midnight; ice fishing on Lake Erie by 5 am. How much better could it be?

  104. “all of u saying lions were robbed on the PI call need to watch the replay, Calvin Johnson had Hitchens by the face mask which offsets the penalty but nice try and hahahaha Cowboys win!!!!”
    **************
    Only one problem with that, if it was offsetting penalties you announce it as such.

    You don’t announce the PI call and pick up the flag without an explanation.

    Even with instant replay nobody is allowed to go back and look for uncalled penalties.

  105. lmao y’all are pretty mad 🙂

    It’s not illegal to touch a receiver. Contact was incidental and did not impede the receiver’s path to the ball or otherwise interfere with the receiver’s ability to catch the ball, and one or the other are required for a PI call. That was a horrible pass into the back of the Cowboys player. Might have gotten the call on a better pass.

    Matthew Stafford’s a first overall draft pick. He should be better than that. The undrafted guy is the winner.

  106. How you pick up that flag without even an explanation is mind-boggling. It was clearly PI,since the defender never turned to look for the ball. The Lions definitely got screwed. The only redemption they may get is a beatdown of the Cowboys by the Packers in the “Ice Bowl”. I would like to hear Morelli’s answer as to why the flag was picked up.

  107. LOL

    coffeeblack95616 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 6:27 PM
    Since the 90s, the Cowgirls are the biggest choke artists when it comes to the playoffs.

  108. I cannot wait for the NFL to explain why the flag was picked up after the call was shared with the stadium and the worldwide viewership.

    Even Pierra said it was clearly the right call. He was in fact, in mid discussion when the refs picked up the flag without explanation.

    It is too easy to say that the NFL was trying to get a Pack vs Cowboys matchup given the costs of such obvious chicanery. That is, there is no way they would do something to kill the integrity of the game just for a single match-up.

    BUT… there has to be something bad going on. Malfeasance at best…. payola (at some level) at worst.

    Can you imagine being a Lions fan right now? Or worse a Cowboys fan? The ‘boys must know the victory is as hollow as Jerrah’s soul.

  109. Ref 1: (Throwing the Flag). Pass interference!
    Ref 2: Yo Jake. You DO see Jerry, Rog, and 90,000 fans out there right? All standing in the way of us getting the airport.
    Ref 1: Yeah, but it was clearly PI. What do I do.
    Ref 2: Just tell ’em all you blinked and the play was over.

  110. I bet Perreira gets fired over this. Get rid of him and the NFL can just script its outcomes without interference from anyone with an ounce of integrity. Oh, and there was no holding against the Lions D-Line in that last drive either. Absolute joke and disgrace.

  111. I am not a fan of either team but that has to be the most egregious call I have ever seen; I have had it with the NFL! I’ve been a Sunday Ticket subscriber for many years but not next year.

    Lions got robbed!

  112. Cowboys fan, which will get me thumbs down anyway, but…

    While I agree it was the worst non-call I’ve ever seen, it did not cost them the game. Detroit still had the lead, and the ball, in Dallas territory. The call had nothing to do with the decision to punt on 4th and 1 and nothing to do with the shanked punt. Go for it and get a first down and the call is forgotten about. Kick a decent punt and pin Dallas deep and the call is forgotten about.

    Regardless, Dallas still had to make the plays to get the last TD. The call had nothing to do with them marching down the field.

  113. I’ll listen to the validity of the PI call but the second Dez Bryant came running on the field, without a helmet, to argue with the officials about that call it was an automatic 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct, automatic. The fact that every official let that go is embarrassing.

  114. On the negative side, the Cowboys won on a rigged call. On the positive side, Michigan fans are sobbing in their beer. Net positive…

  115. The NFL wants the Cowboys in Green Bay for a playoff game, the first time since the Ice Bowl. Now, with the help of the refs, they’ll get their wish. It’s a great story line, but they had to cheat to get there.

  116. Quite honestly, if my team wasn’t still in the playoffs yet, I would be done watching.

    2014 NFL Season summed up:

    Ray Rice punched fiance, Goodell tries/fails to cover up

    AP abuses his own child, misses entire season

    Suh/Raiola fined less for intentionally trying to hurt someone than Lynch because he doesn’t want to talk to media(player safety? Right…..)

    And the fix of the Dallas/Detroit Wild Card Game.

  117. I’ve never seen a series of cheating in my life.

    The PI call was bad enough.

    Dez Bryant comes onto the field without his helmet, not flagged.

    Calvin Johnson was hit on an illegal contact in the 4th quarter, no call.

    The TWO DOZEN “non-garden variety” blatant holds by the Dallas offensive line (including one on the play where they called Levy).

    Witten false starts on several plays.

    And I’m sure there’s more, but most of those were in the 2nd half where the refs kicked it into high gear. CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

  118. What this has done will cause the rules committee to booth review every pass interference call.

  119. I absolutely hate the Cowgirls but that was a good no-call. The ball hit the defender in the back and he had his hands off the receiver. What was he supposed to do? Duck so the receiver could catch it? Sit down and start counting blades of turf and let the receiver run free?

  120. Just heard that the ref inadvertently threw the flag. It was 35 degrees in Dallas and his hands were numb and he couldn’t feel them, so he put them in pockets to try warm them up. When he pulled his hands out, the flag fell on the ground.

    Jim Caldwell said that he believed the ref because the ref told him that’s what happened

    Darn cold weather.

  121. I am not a Lions fan. Today will go down as a game that was without a doubt the most blatant and obviously fixed games in professional sports history.
    I have watched 50 plus years of the NFL and never have I said that or even come close to stating that.
    THIS GAME WAS FIXED!!!
    THE NFL LOST MAJOR CREDIBILITY TODAY! I am very disheartened to realize that it is a fact. It makes all the NFL a disgraceful farce and not to be believed.
    Very sad and makes me think about my interest in the game moving forward.
    It really was fixed. i can’t believe it but it was. Wow!

  122. You know what actually lost this game for the Lions? It wasn’t the one penalty that wasn’t called, it was all the penalties (against the Lions) that WERE called, all at a time when they should have been very careful. So stop the whining. Fight to Detroit leaves in 15 minutes.

  123. I’ve seen tons of flags picked up, but never seen one picked up AFTER it was announced and marched off. The no call on Bryant coming on the field without a helmet to protest the call was just as bad. 35 years of watching this league I’ve tons of blown calls, this was different. This was fixed.

  124. Hey fans — how about this? After every game the players and head coach have to face the media and answer questions about what happened during the game.
    I have long been a believer that the officials should have to face the media, too. Let them sit at a table and be asked about specific calls they made which were controversial so we hear it directly from them and they get a chance to face the music when they blow it, as these officials surely did today.

    If they have the ability to affect the outcome of games, they damn sure ought to be held accountable and we, the fans, should be able to hear what they have to say instead of some spokesperson from the front office a day or two later.

    It’s all about integrity, and we’ve seen far too many times that it appears that sometimes, integrity has no place in the NFL.

  125. Had the ball been thrown over the defender’s shoulder and caught a flag would have never been thrown, even if the defender did absolutely nothing differently. It’s not the his fault Stafford threw a duck.

  126. Reminds me a little of the non-call in the Patriots – Panthers game last year when Luke Keuchly drove Gronk out of the back of the endzone…the refs threw the flag and then picked it up…the problem for the NFL is that this game was about 100 times more important.

    The thing is, you can debate whether it was PI or not (actually you can’t, cuz it was CLEARLY PI), but once you throw the flag (thus committing to this obvious call), don’t overthink it, just stick with the call. Brutal.

    And by the way, while it’s easy to take this call as clear evidence that the NFL is fixed, it’s not…but it sure is incompetent sometimes.

  127. Was rooting AGAINST the Lions with all my heart, and for the Cowboys with half of it…even I could see what a horrible call that was and it did indeed, likely change the outcome. How could they mess that up?

  128. Why do so many people say games arent or cant be fixed? Its a FACT that it has already happened in another major american sport. It happened in the NBA and its obviously happening now in the NFL. Let me guess…its another “rogue official”. Pathetic. Loss of game integrity is the easiest way to destroy the enjoyment of watching a sport.

  129. I am definitely NOT a conspiracy theorist in anything, including the JFK assassination or any of the NBA lottery fix stuff, BUT, I mean REALLY….TWO major Dallas calls at exactly the right time!?…in s playoff game!? Maybe I just don’t remember stuff so well during the regular season (AND, I’m an Eagles fan, so give me a break), but I can’t remember EVER seeing a flag for interference being picked up at a point in the game like that…EVER. I really hate to even THINK conspiracy (big-time betting, Jimmy Jones’s money, etc.), but this is so obvious that nothing else but a conspiracy makes ANY sense at all! We need a Fed investigation…. or even a REAL investigation.

  130. Great so now people will say the refs handed the game to the Cowboys. They will ignore the officials didn’t shank the punt, that the Lions still had ample opportunity to stop the Cowboys on that drive and that the Lions still had a shot to win the game with 2.5 minutes left but came up short. Or of course the fact they simply blew a 13 point second half lead.

    I guess though it is easier to just blame the officials on one blown call than to accept your team lost the game on their own.

  131. THIS GAME WAS FIXED BIG TIME ! NO WAY THE PACKERS BLOW A 20-7 LEAD @ LAMBEAU VS DALLAS WITH ALL THE ICE BOWL SURVIVORS FROM THE 1967 NFL CHAMPION SHIP GAME THERE . THE PACKERS WILL PUMMEL DALLAS 44 – 17 .

  132. Madcityjd……

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but so far you are the only one that makes any sense.
    The flag should not have been thrown on Dallas! The only penalty I saw was the Detroit receiver putting his fingers in the facemask of the Dallas defender.
    Watch the replay from behind the Detroit receiver. You will see what I mean.
    Mike Pereira is an idiot and wouldn’t know a penalty if he saw one on instant replay. And don’t get me started on Michael David Smith. ( a bizarre piece of officiating?). Hasn’t he ever seen a penalty flag picked up before?

  133. Great game, but it was not decided by one bad (or maybe not) call. Detroit was “done in” by poor tackling and a front four that did not get to Romo enough. Every year or so, there is a team of “destiny” that appears to get the calls, i.e., NE 1999/2000. It wasn’t as though it was one of the last plays of the game (sorry SF). The Lions had their chances. At least Detroit’s team isn’t in Cleveland or moving to LA.

  134. I am a Lions fan and It is not only The Lions team that got screwed but the hard working fans that follow their team and buy the tickets. I hope the players publicly denounce these clowns even though they may pay fines. I won’t spend anotherinute watching the rest of the playoffs or the Super Bowl. I will however continue to support the Lions. Good job team, you won this game!!!

  135. Blame the refs all you want. The Lions had a 14-0 lead and total control of the game and didn’t hold it. They had penalties, shanked punts, and had the same protection issues in the 4th quarter that Dallas had all game long. Dallas also showed some grit that everyone on here likes to claim they haven’t had in years. Both teams had missed opportunities and it could have gone either way. As usual people like to pick one play out of 130 or so and say that was the one that decided it all. Ridiculous.

  136. Oh well, The refs did not see the lions running in to the punter nor Ansahs hands all up inside the Olines face masks on those sacks of Romo either. Besides, I thought the lions hated for players to be penalized!

  137. Lion fans you got screwed. If you were playing any team other than the Cowboys there is no way that flag gets picked up. Cowboys come up to Green Bay next week I just hope the fix isn’t in again because that is the only way they beat the Packers.

  138. again, the only contact was by the receiver. face guarding is legal in the NFL.

    the lions got enough ticky tack calls to get the lead. sorry they couldn’t hold it.

  139. I called it several day ago that we wouldn’t be hearing any smack talk from megatronownsyou after the game like he was doing all week and that the Lions fans would be blaming it on something else. There are bad calls throughout evry game just like their were many non calls against both teams today.

    GO COWBOYS!!!!!!

    LOL

  140. I’m not a Cowboys fan, and I think they blew the call, but no game is ever won or lost because of a single play. You have no idea whether or not they would have scored if they had gotten that call- it didn’t occur in the end zone.

    And the refs didn’t decide to punt on fourth and in Cowboys territory and the refs didn’t shank they punt.

    Get over it.

  141. Guys like Pete Morelli and Clete Blakeman need to stick to their day jobs. Their history of poor performances is long and affecting the outcomes of games.

  142. 1999. Rams. Dick Vermeil, Kurt Warner. Greatest Show on Turf. Bob and Weave. Cinderella Story. Bucs at St Louis, NFL Championship game. Bert Emanual (Bucs) clearly caught the ball on 22 yard line with 47 seconds left. Ruled a catch. Booth review (before those were routine). Call overturned. Bucs lose. Maybe they’d have scored and won, maybe not. But no way was the NFL going to let the Rams not win that game. Probably subconscious more than overt cheating. It happens. The Bucs should have found one more play to win that game that night. The Lions should have found one tonight.

  143. As a New England fan, I do feel for the Raiders and their fans as the whole “Tuck rule” debacle certainly tainted the outcome of that game as did this Pass Interference reversal call here….awful and just brutal for a club like the Lions that could use some good fortune to come their way.

  144. Whiners. No surprise Cowboys haters would inundate this thread. If you ask me, this is just Karma for the Lions.

  145. The Cowboys aren’t capable of winning a playoff game on their own merits. They require officials assistance. Not only the picked up flag, but on the defensive holding call on the deciding touchdown there was a hands to the face that should have offset it not called.

    NFL Officiating is broken.

  146. My 12 year old said “Dad, but Suh was suspended and it’s not right he got to play. The Lions deserved to lose if the put dirty players on the field.” Smart kid.

  147. C’mon folks tell the truth and shame the devil. That call could have gone either way or both ways. Pettigrew was keeping the defender at arms length with his arm in chest. The Cowboys player was out of control and not looking at the ball because he was beat.

    In case you’re forgetting the Lions did have more than 3 possessions.

  148. Is the NFL ever going to give us an explanation on why the refs picked up the pass interference flag? Because it doesn’t pass the smell test. Lions need to protest the game. About as tainted a victory as I’ve ever seen.

  149. It doesn’t make any sense at all to go over all the minutia of how the game went up to that point: missed field goals, allowing/making crucial 3rd downs and all that, that’s all B4 the rip. IF there was a conspiracy ripoff going on and the refs were in on it, then they HAD to make a move then, when they did. It makes NO DIFFERENCE how the two teams got into the game situation at the time, if the refs HAD to deliver a win for the ‘Boys, they had to do it then. And at this point in my thinking, I believe that what we saw WAS WHAT WE SAW-the refs clumsily did their part that late and that obvious. 1. It WAS pass interference, pure and simple, no question. 2. Dez tore off his helmet to go and argue WITH A REF – a 15 yd. penalty which I have seen called on many Sundays. NO CALL 3. NO real reason given to explain the picking up of the flag-no explanation to anybody, on or off the field.. It just looks real bad,man,….REAL bad.

  150. Lions were winning, they had been all game, and they were about to put it away. The officials saw an opportunity to change to outcome and took it. This was blatant, intentional, period.

  151. For all of the people saying there was offensive p.i and that the penalties should have been “offset”, at the very least DEZ should have been hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty!! Where was that call? I have no dog In the fight, but I am apalled. What can you say? Something needs to be done that’s what. Too many times things like this get let go and forgotten. Not this time . Pathetic. And I don’t even think the game was fixed as much as I think it is just INCOMPETENCE .

  152. I hope Jerruh sends Christie back to NJ with a couple of those ‘Official’ suitcases full of cash.

    We got potholes out here wider then The Gov’s backside that need fix’n.

    No money in the budget for roads and bridges here, seems to be getting spent on Cowboy games?

    Please share some of that Officiating Fund with us Jerruh.
    Right it off as a campaign donation to our Gov.

  153. Detroit feels robbed as they should…that is why u confer with the other refs to be sure u all saw the same thing… that way you don’t have this mess… even if they would have said the pass was not catchable… something would have been better than nothing

  154. I’ve never seen a call reversed AFTER they announce it. It was pass interference.
    Fixed? Sure seems that way. Not a fan of either team, Lions were screwed. I don’t get how they get away with this.

  155. It did look like Pi ,also looked like face mask at the end of play.but saying the play was responsible for cowboys td or lions bad punt or the 2 fumbles or not going for it on 4th and 1 is stupid.my bad jerry paid punter, stafford and d line off right. Bring on the haters go boys

  156. Being the biggest eagles hater on planet Earth, I will relish another week of pathetic moaning and groaning about the Cowboys and this “bogus” call. Absolutely love it. Thanks NFL!

  157. it wasn’t just that call but of all the many plays after that 1 killer PI flag pickup there were several more flags thrown against the Lions and not a one against Dallas. Not a holding, not procedure, it seemed that it wasn’t just Romo playing well but the whole refereeing team was in the mood to get that final TD

    That is hard to do… The lions line was being blocked and Suh and company were being held without. The yellow laundry coming out…

    There was a sinister force at work and a criminal referee defrauding a nation of fans and bettors.

  158. mnvikingsfan says:
    Jan 4, 2015 7:52 PM

    So the bidding war begins……who will pay the refs more at Lamebeau…….GB or Jerrah.

    I gotta believe Jerrah has the upper hand, but then again, history shows GB will be one and done anyway!!
    ==================================
    History actually doesn’t show that. The Packers have made the playoffs 5 times in the last 5 years. They have gone out twice in the first round, and twice made it past the first round, including a Super Bowl victory.

    The Vikings, on the other hand, have made the playoffs once in the past five years, losing in the first round to the Packers in their only appearance.

    Might need to come up with a new spin there.

  159. The game was fixed?????

    Right, because the refs knew that the Lions would shank a punt, and Romo would lead them to a score, right???

    Idiots.

    And frankly, because it’s the dirty, cheating Lions, I’m not upset in the least, in fact I’m very happy! Couldn’t have happened to a better team!

    It’s called “karma”, people 😉

  160. I think all fans outside of Dallas have now become the biggest group of Packers fans that have ever existed after the way this game ended.

    Forget the picking up of the flag, Dez Bryant ran on the field without his helmet, right to an official to argue. That is AUTOMATICALLY 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Except in this game, in this stadium.

    Cowboy fans, I don’t care what argument you bring at me, with two time outs, and well over 3 minutes to go in the game and the lead, you can’t tell me that didn’t cost Detroit their season. It’s ridiculous.

    It’s not a FIX though. It is simply a very short-sighted decision by the NFL who cares more about ratings and $$$ then the integrity of their own sport.

  161. I usually say the refs are just apart of the game and you cannot rely on them to help you win or lose. But in this case, the game appeared to be rigged by the refs. If the refs didn’t call PI at all, then that would be OK. But throwing the flag, calling the penalty and then about to start the next play, then stop the play and pick up the flag?

    It is undeniable that this one call cost the Lions the game. We are talking about a huge momentum swing that ended up being the winning Cowboys TD. You cant sit there and tell me this did not effect the game in favor of the Cowboys.

  162. Suck it up kitties fans.

    It was not nearly as egregious as the Seahawks touchterception. It was a close call I could see going either way, but when the receiver was holding his face mask, it kind of negated any chance he’d legitimately get called on the pass interference.

    It’s not like the Lions wouldn’t get destroyed by the refs in Seattle next week anyways.

    Bottom line… Make enough plays to where the refs can’t determine the winner in the other 3 quarters from now on.

  163. What a horrible way to steal the game from the Lions. That was the officiating for the entire 2014 NFL season in a nutshell.

    What a joke the league has become.

  164. Worst call in the history of the modern day game!!
    Feel bad for the Lions players,fans,coaches,owners and anyone who has enjoyed watching the “NFL”
    over the years.
    SHAME

  165. Not only do the Lions had to beat the Cowgirls but they also had to beat the refs. What a biased bunch of refs team. God knows what Lions would have done if the flag was not picked up. The Lions were chewing up the time on the game clock and might have put the game out of reach with a FG or TD. You can tell the refs are pro-Dallas. What a black mark on the NFL officiating. The NFL wanted the cowgirls to win. Goodell and the NFL will have a lot explaining to do.

    Not a Lions fan but I believe in fairness & unbiased officiating game, which was not the case in this game.

  166. Defender had no business being there in the first place. He was covering Brandon Pettigrew. It’s not like he would have actually caught the ball anyway. He should have been double teaming Calvin Johnson.

  167. “The Cowboys and the Packers at Lambeau Field is what the NFL is all about.”

    Truest thing ever written on PFT!

    The NFL fixed the game to make sure they got Romo/Rodgers.

  168. Lions never had a chance even when they were up 14-0. The NFL was going to make sure they had a Packers/Cowboys matchup next weekend. If that call doesn’t prove that I don’t know what does…….what a horrible call.

  169. I wonder if they picked up the flag because the ball was uncatchable? Even if the defender didn’t touch the receiver, the ball still would’ve hit the defender right between the shoulder blades and fell to the ground uncaught by either man. Under the rules, that is not pass interference. Still probably could’ve got a hold call or a personal foul on Bryant for coming out on the field to argue with the ref.

  170. Lions fans were all smiles in the first half when every call was going the Lions way.

    Penalty on Cowboys for running into kicker, but not when Lions did far worse on theirs?

    Dwayne Harris calls for fair catch, gets blasted by Lions gunner.

    Even Perilli was disputing every bad call against the Cowboys in the first half.

  171. First, just to let it be known Detroit was gonna lose anyway so moving on. Second, Cowboys will be at the superbowl with the New England Patriots, yup I said it so what. Third, I thought it was an overall good game in my opinion and everybody is entitled to them. But I must say don’t point fingers at the players because if I recall there were a few flags that should’ve been thrown on Detroit too and it didn’t happen. If the PI happened which I don’t recall then you blame the officials not the team. I haven’t been a die hard fan until recently and I wasn’t a Romo fan either but I must say they have come a long way. Either way don’t be a hater all your life..

  172. I see a new pass interference rule coming next year like in the cfl you can challenge a pass interference call…..you heard it first !!!

  173. It was going to be a ticky tack PI call. Rich Eisen was saying that it was face guarding. There is no such thing any more. If there is contact it can be PI… if the receiver is playing the ball there is less likely to be PI as both players have the right to the ball and contact would be seen as incidental, but there is no such thing as face guarding.

    He barely touched the receiver. It could have gone either way. It would have been a good no call and it is a shame a flag was thrown at all.

  174. I can see the pre-game next week…Rodger Goodell and Vince Mcmahon hyping the cage match between the Packers and the Cowpukes,,,

  175. fairhooker says:
    Jan 4, 2015 9:01 PM
    it wasn’t just that call but of all the many plays after that 1 killer PI flag pickup there were several more flags thrown against the Lions and not a one against Dallas. Not a holding, not procedure, it seemed that it wasn’t just Romo playing well but the whole refereeing team was in the mood to get that final TD
    ===

    Actually, the penalties for the game were fairly even. Detroit had 8 for 44 yards, the Cowboys had 6 for 46 yards.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your conspiracy theory.

  176. I hope the NFL understands that the appearance of impropriety can be just as bad as actual impropriety. They need to give a real good explanation of this. Because this incident can corrode the fans’ trust in the integrity of the league.

  177. I have never seen a game in which the Zebras did the best they could to get a team back in the game and allow them to win one like tonight. The Jerrah has to make things look less obvious!

  178. Yes of course the game was fixed. And of course the perfect way to fix a game would be to throw a flag on one of the biggest plays of the game and then pick it up. Why be subtle and try to cover it up when you can just make it obvious and flaunt it to the world that the fix was in.

    Thank God we have so many genius detectives on this site to prevent the league from getting away with their little scam. The NFL had no idea what they were getting into when they tried to sneak something like this past you guys.

  179. 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 could dubious ones on Detroit on the next drive. Not saying it was a fix, but sure looks like it could be.

  180. The Refs totally botched this. I get the dudes hand were in his face mask for a brief moment, then you call the penalty on HIM, for Offensive PI or face mask,, or off setting penalties…. or handle it ANY OTHER way, than the way it was.

  181. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE PACKERS GET A BIG FIRST HALF LEAD AND ALL THE COWBOYS HEADS HANGING IN SHAME AND SHOCK WHILE THE WHOLE DALLAS TEAM FREEZES TO DEATH AS THE FOX CAMERAS ZOOM IN .

  182. This stuff happens all the time.

    Why, just last week Suh was penalized with a one game suspension for deliberately stepping on Rodgers twice after the whistle. And what happened?

    Suspension lifted … and Suh plays against Dallas. Lion fans rejoiced!

    This week – pass interference was initially called … but the flag was picked up and the penalty eliminated. Lions fans infuriated!

    Deal with it.

    And by the way … that 10 yard punt didn’t exactly help matters anyway.

    Games seldom come down to just one play.

  183. Look at the play again the corner had his arms straight out the receiver grabbed the corner and pulled him down on top of him and the ball was under thrown. The receiver never went for the ball. Receivers have gotten good at drawing PI calls in the league.

  184. They’ll handle this the same way they did the fail Mary. Stand behind the refs 100% on the main call and pretend we’re all too stupid to interpret what we saw with our own eyes, but they’ll try to throw a bone to Detroit fans by admitting that Dez should have been called for UC.

  185. It was probably a bad no call. But Dallas had a drive killed in the first half by a phantom offensive PI call. Referee mess ups happen. Detroit just didn’t play as well in the 2nd half.

  186. Last year the 49ers were the victim of NFL bias in the Seattle game. The NFL wanted the #1 offense vs the #1 defense in the Super Bowl. Now they wanted that Titan matchup of a team perfect at home (Packers) vs the Cowboys who were perfect with away games. It’s all about the money and the publicity. I love this sport but it’s disgusting how certain situations are handled.

  187. Neither a Cowboy nor Lions fan, but that call was horrible. Possible changed the outcome of the game.
    Thought Cowboys would win and win at Green Bay but doubt now. Dallas looks overrated.

  188. Not a Cowboys fan at all. Truth is the flag never should’ve been thrown. The offensive player was not coming back for the ball and there was no real contact until after the ball bounced off the defender’s back and he ran through the receiver after that. Of course we see these kind of ticky-tack PI calls all the time in the NFL these days, so it’s surprising they picked up the flag in that spot.

    Just because the defender wasn’t looking at the ball doesn’t make it PI. There has to be significant contact to make it PI prior to the ball bouncing off him.

  189. Big Time NFL…Reminds me of Big Time Wrestling. It is real, and fixed. We are letting the wrong people run the NFL, only ourselves to blame…

  190. Worst call I’ve ever seen in sports. The refs were either grossly incompetent or blatantly on the take–pick your poison, but there is no other possible rationale.

    The NFL now has the credibility of the NBA…and that ain’t good.

  191. Those grapes taste great to me even if they are sour! Romo with a clutch win and the D supporting him like they have most of this season. Romo played his but on and that had nothing to do with the “PI” play.

  192. Michael David Smith writes: “The Cowboys and the Packers at Lambeau Field is what the NFL is all about.”

    Apparently, Pete Morelli agrees with you. Why else would he unilaterally pick up another ref’s flag AFTER ANNOUNCING the penalty across the PA system?

    People in the NFL and people who write about the NFL will dismiss any claims of “fixing” as pure and utter nonsense. But in all seriousness, how are fans supposed to react to an occurrence like that? I don’t ever recall seeing something like this happen; particularly in a playoff game. To me, this is a far more grave officiating offense than, say, the infamous Tom Brady “tuck rule” game against the Raiders in 2001. This was at a critical juncture of the game and this call led directly to the bigger, more popular team winning. If this game had been in Detroit, does Pete Morelli make the same decision?

    This is a black eye for the NFL…major big time.

  193. So let me see if I have this right…the refs “blow” a DPI call and then immediately award Dallas 7 points to take the lead?

    I don’t suppose the lack of guts by your HC to go for it on 4th and 1 and your kicker blasting a 10 yard punt counts. Then you send out the 2nd ranked Defense who had pressured Romo all game to prevent them from going 60 yards. Guess that doesn’t matter.

    I guess getting the ball back with over 2 minutes and then again at 2 minutes after a turnover never happened either.

    Yeah Detroit…the refs and that call were your only issue tonight. Try scoring more than 3 points after halftime. Let’s try that next time.

  194. The PI non-call was not the only call that affected the game. It was the only call or non-call that the booth picked up and paid attention to.

    The Detroit D-line was being held so often they should be looking for proposals.

    It’s nothing new for Detroit Fans, we get beat up by the refs all the time, and the big wigs sitting behind the desks on TV tell you all over and over again how we “Shoot ourselves in the foot” all the time. Granted, we do shoot ourselves in the foot, but not as often as the game simply gets called one-way.

    Tonight they’re tip-toeing around it very delicately on NFL network, and simply ignoring it elsewhere.

    Penalties are committed out there on every play. It’s up to the officials to try to keep everything fair, as in, make sure the ‘offenses’ aren’t being used to one team’s advantage lopsidedly. It’s very easy for a crew like that to tip the game one way or the other.

    The scales never tip to Detroit. Ever.

    It’s very frustrating to know that there is NO RECOURSE for a situation like this. There can be no justice, we’re just out of the playoffs.

    I said it’s nothing new for Detroit Fans to know the officiating wasn’t fair. It IS new for us to have it ruin our playoff hopes.

    Would we have won the game? Unfortunately, no one will ever know.

    Referees, for any sport, should never make themselves bigger than the game. In the NFL they are every week.

    Shame on you NFL network for hiding from this topic. I really expected to see you respond to this in some way.

  195. trollaikman8 says:
    Jan 4, 2015 10:27 PM
    >Detoilet scores 3 points in the 2nd half

    W-WE SHOULDA WON THAT GAME!!11!

    As a Cowboys fan, I’ve moved on to Green Bay.
    —————

    And what will be your spiel when you lose next week?

  196. Hate both teams, and the call was terrible. It was karma for letting Suh play. Dallas will get run out of town in Green Bay next week anyway.

  197. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Jan 4, 2015 9:38 PM
    fairhooker says:
    Jan 4, 2015 9:01 PM
    it wasn’t just that call but of all the many plays after that 1 killer PI flag pickup there were several more flags thrown against the Lions and not a one against Dallas. Not a holding, not procedure, it seemed that it wasn’t just Romo playing well but the whole refereeing team was in the mood to get that final TD
    ===

    Actually, the penalties for the game were fairly even. Detroit had 8 for 44 yards, the Cowboys had 6 for 46 yards.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your conspiracy theory.
    ————-

    I dunno why people like you continue trying to dispel facts by citing such statistics. It is always more about the calls NOT made than the ones that were actually made when talking about the disparities in officiating. There’s always one of YOU out here doing this, though…

  198. @foxfarm6: There were other missed calls, but what makes the PI non-call so much worse was the process of how it all went down. Pete Morelli had already announced the penalty. I don’t ever recall a scenario in which a head referee unilaterally decided to pick up another ref’s flag after making the announcement.

  199. Let’s see…Cowboys fans are being asked how we are going to act next week after Green Bay destroys us…hmmm, great question.

    Even better since we have a next week. I’ll think about it and get back to you.

  200. Detroit got jobbed. Right up there with the “Fail Mary” given how obvious the PI was. What a terrible way to both win a game and lose a game. Heck, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, not even a Vikings fan. Once the fan’s trust in the integrity of the league is shattered, then the game becomes no different than a scripted WWF event, or the NBA, take your pick.

  201. Only thing more pathetic than the blundering officials gifting the Cowpokes a win is having to wade past all the grade-school taunts from Dallas fans.

    “America’s Team?” America hates your team. Your classless gloating about winning a tainted football game is ample proof why.

  202. Yeah, Lions were screwed all right. The defender only had one thing on his mind….and that was break up the receiver or the pass. It was pass interference plain and simple. The fact the Dallas line was allowed multiple holds on nearly every play and right in front of the refs, told the real story. It was a money thing. The future games in the playoffs would pull down much bigger TV and other revenues if Dallas advanced.

    The NFL is a monopoly protected by the U.S. Congress. After this fiaso, maybe Congress should not allowNFL to represent what goes on as a game, contest, match, or playoff, and only refer to NFL “action” as an exhibition. Obiously what the “teams” do on the field have little to do with the outcome of a game. Lets see where their revenues would go then!!

  203. I always pooh-pooh claims of referee fixes or bias in the NFL before this game. However, this was an eye-opener. It has to be more than coincidence that a flag is picked up on a blatant pass interference, and the NFL and TV networks will make more money if Dallas is allowed to advance, as opposed to Detroit. The referees slipped up by being too obvious. They made it evident that the fix was in. I will look at the NFL the same as pro wrestling now, if I look at it at all.

  204. It’s not about if he played the ball its about if he interfered. Only if he interfered does it matter if he played the ball. I believe there was enough contact on both sides to warrant a no call but had the lions won we would all be talking about a OPI penally on Williams where he was pushed into the defender or any of the other questionable calls on either team. Bottom line is the refs called a bad game for both teams, and the lions had the ball with 2:30 min left and fumbled twice.

  205. 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.

  206. All of you guys who are crying about Cowboys win need to get over it, they were loosing 14-0 at one point. They gave the Lions a fight with a few good drives, they went for it on 4th and 6. They took risk that could have clearlly easily gone against them if not successful,but they did it,and over one call all of you wanna take credit away from them. The way i see. Cowboys played a heck of a game. And all of you haters would never be happy when they win. If the call wouldn’t have happened you guys would of found another excuse.

  207. Fail Mary Mail Fairy, get over it–that was a bad call but wasn’t a playoff game. This is different, obviously designed to benefit tv. Same as the rigged officiating in Super Bowl XL which gave the game to the tv audience.

  208. whats funny is right before that play I told my son Jones will do something to get them the ball but I never thought it would come down to paying the officials off in his favor.the NFL should have that game replayed wed. in a sep. field no owners aloud to attend the game put in officials that know what pass interference is and watch the outcome???? I to this day feel when playing in Dallas Jones is paying someone to call thwe game his way not the NFL way.

  209. “And that should be a great game. The Cowboys and the Packers at Lambeau Field is what the NFL is all about. Even if Lions fans think it should be their team moving on.” Apparently Michael A Smith doesn’t have a problem with the NFL setting the match up they want. I mean it’s what the NFL is all about. Lol

  210. How about the call when the lions were punting out of the end zone…clearly no contact was made, but the punter sold it. You win some, you lose some…get over it.

  211. It was one of the worst calls NFL history but whatever Phil Morelli as to live with the fact that he cost Detroit a playoff game.Not a Green Bay fan at all but they are going to crush the Cowboys next week Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t lose any sleep or worry about them at all.

  212. As a Cowboy fan, the one thing you accept because it never changes is whenever we win a big game it is because our opponent was robbed. The fact the momentum in the game clearly shifted at the end of the first half and the defense totally shut down the Lions about halfway through the third quarter is irrelevant. There were tons of actions by the Lions not called by the refs. On defender shoved Williams to the ground and did not draw a flag. The scales were balanced when Lawrence made a rookie mistake and gave the Lions the ball and a fresh set of downs. The Lions lost because the Lions lost. A single call has never and will never change the outcome of a game unless it is within the last 2 minutes. I guess the call was the reason Detroit punted the ball 10 yards as well, right?

  213. the fix is in:

    1. Morelli was on the Jones party bus this past year
    2. TMZ clearly reported there were PAID escorts on the bus
    3. Morelli gets NO punishment from the NFL
    4. Jones builds a huge complex and stadium – this is what the NFL wants with Taxpayer money
    5. I bet an agreement is reached between the NFL and Jones – build it and we will reward you!
    6. Morelli, who months earlier was with an escort on the party bus gets assigned to the most important Dallas game since the stadium was built!
    7. Fixed several calls:

    a. Illegal player on the field – with no helmet – first down Lions – and Dez could have been ruled out of the game for coming off the bench (in the rule books)
    b. Defensive holding – first down Lions
    c. PI – first down Lions
    d. Personal Foul – first down Lions

    Morelli did his part in the fix and denied the Lions 4 different ways – all so he got his 5 minutes of fun with an escort on the bus

    SHAMEFUL and a SHAM!!

  214. Further, the Cowboys now have a clear path to the super bowl and the NFL will/is rewarding Jones for building his beautiful stadium with taxpayer funds!! the role model of the NFL – and role models must be rewarded

    Cowboys over the Packers next week – due to the fix, not due to talent
    Panthers beat the Seahawks next week – due to the fix and not due to talent

    Championship game in the shiny stadium that Jones built – Arizona got the gift in 2008 with the new stadium built with taxpayer funds and then New Orleans got pay off from the Katrina and the NFL in 2009 – it is all about rewards in the NFL not actual play on the field

  215. Hahahahaha poor babies. When you were getting all the calls, and non-calls, for the first half I didn’t hear anyone complaining.

    And the truth is, that call didn’t decide the game. The Dallas defense played spectacular for having no big names. Calvin who?

    #FinishtheFight

  216. This is from a Packers fan who still isn’t over the FAIL MARY call in Seattle.

    It was interference and that flag should not have been picked up.

    Did it change the outcome? Who knows? In my opinion, Stafford should not have thrown that pass in the first place. It wasn’t well thrown. If the Dallas guy had turned around to look, it would have probably been intercepted.

    So ……. best you can say is that a D+ quality pass that should have been intercepted generated a flag that shouldn’t have been picked up. It’s one of those “DISTINCTION FOR THE UNINVOLVED” type of plays.

    The Lions had plenty enough time + timeouts at the end to win it despite the erroneus flag-pickup. But, not counting that one screen pass that worked, they couldn’t get anything accomplished. So, you can’t pin the defeat exclusively on a picked-up flag (in my humble opinion).
    .
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    .

  217. Am I the only person that saw that pass as an incredibly horrible one? It hit the defender in the back! Could he have caught it………….hell no. Blows my mind. Conspiracy…..lord, who killed Kennedy?

    Maybe he turns around and intercepts that ball and calls timeout and then hands the ball back to the Lions just for S&G’s because it wasn’t fair that the pass was so horrible. Now, although not realistic, that would be priceless.

    A few other calls were questionable, but the PI one is like watching a girls basketball game and she throws up a desperation 3 like she’s chucking a mortar……gets some type of bogus foul call, and is rewarded for a shot that had a snowballs chance in h*ll of going in and the other team loses because of it. The Lions had a chance of still winning the game and they didn’t. They had everything in their favor up 14 and were just thrashing the Cowboys defensively. Go for the throat and kill! As a Lions fan I just sat and watched in pride, but said to myself, “if the Cowboys weather this storm and get close we are screwed.”

    Last note: Bryant should have been flagged for his baby rant.

  218. 1: It was Offensive Holding, to begin with
    2: Defensive player did not Stop the receiver from catching the ball
    3: The Ball was Uncatch-able; It hit the Defender in the back
    4: The Receiver PULLED the Defender down
    5: Refs don’t need to tell the spectators why they picked up the flag
    (It’s rare when they make explanations; that kind of stuff is done
    by referees that Want to give one, but it’s not Mandatory)
    6: If the Defender HAD turned-around, it would have been an INTERCEPTION
    7: It was a GREAT “good-call” for Dallas.

  219. @joebloh says, “Refs don’t need to tell the spectators why they picked up the flag”.

    OK, even if this were true, that would be terrible PR for the NFL to show such a lack of commonsense etiquette, especially for such a meaningful play for such a meaningful game as a sudden-death playoff game. I am really tiring of Goodell.

  220. I can’t believe all the hoopla over a crappy pass that hit the defender in the back! You really expect Detroit to bailed out on that?

    Where in the rule book does it say “playing the ball” or “head turned around”. I wish people and announcers quit coming up with their own versions of the rules.

  221. There was a fix–but, just imagine for one second how awesome it would have been if Detroit was actually a better team and could have overcome a couple of bad calls??? Imagine Jerry’s face when all the money he must have paid to Morelli, Goodell, Blandino amounted to zilch??? That would have been so cool. Jerry, still having to watch them all buy new mansions–and his Cowboys still having lost a wildcard game–it’s nice to think about–if only Detroit were a good enough team to overcome such–but, they would then be like every winning team in the NFL, having to overcome a bad call or two. But, Jerry’s scarecrow face!!

  222. Let me see, I’m gonna try and give my additional two cents, and attempt to just mention what I witnessed during the game and nothing else.

    First, let’s just talk or discuss, if you will, the one and ONLY play that was really questionable. Not all the holding calls that weren’t flagged, nor the running onto the kicker, the roughing the passer or for the player, who’s not directly involved with the previous play running onto the field. ALL of these plays weren’t called or flagged and, therefore, were not even, I am assuming, seen by any official on the field. With that being said, the play in question was the Defensive Pass Interference call or non-call. The referee that threw the flag thought he saw what appeared to be interference from the Defensive Player as the Offensive Player positioned himself to try and catch the pass. Unfortunately, for Lions fans, after conferring with his fellow refs, they decided that there was, in their expert opinion (and decision), no Pass Interference committed by the defensive player. Detroit turnover on downs and Dallas gets the ball. However, upon showing on replay, again, and again, and again, it did seem that there was, indeed, interference, as the league now acknowledges. For Lions fans, sorry, that was a bad non-call, essentially ending, what appeared to be a decent looking drive for your team. Would it have been an automatic score? Not sure, they did show in this same game that they were capable of scoring on the Dallas D but in this instance, it’s just not known. And 3 points in one half definitely is not going to win you any games, but it is not totally impossible that they would have added to that 3 points if the DPI call stood and Detroit’s offense had a chance to do something. Now the same thing applies to Dallas, even if Detroit didn’t score on that drive but were able to continue due entirely to the DPI, it was NO guarantee that Dallas, upon getting the ball back, would score automatically.

    See, what I find interesting is when people mention that Detroit got all the chances, outside of the questionable call, but didn’t do anything. Ever think that maybe their only other scoring drive in the second half was indeed the one that the referee had a hand on ending. I believe it would have been better off if the flag was just not thrown, this “supposed DPI” would just be lumped into all the other non-calls of that game.

    I am not saying that the botched call totally made things easier for Dallas to win, rather, it made Detroit losing easier. Like I said, that was a decent looking drive Detroit was putting together until that play. They definitely appeared lost and couldn’t stop anything after that play.

    Yes, good, no, dominant teams, find a way to overcome and pull out a win, if they have to. But that is easy to say, especially for Cowboys fans, I don’t know, I am just saying, I don’t think they had to overcome any questionable call during that game.

  223. When all of the close calls go in the favor of the same team, it is hard to dispute the people who think the NFL influences games intentionally with the refs. It looks to me like the fix is in for the Cowboys this year.

  224. mountaindont says:
    Jan 11, 2015 5:04 PM
    Where were all the camera shots today of Jerry Jones in the box ? BA HA HA HA
    ———-

    Yeah about that? I didn’t see him OR Humpty Dumpty today.

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