Phantom penalty on Packers leads to Cowboys’ touchdown


The Cowboys struck first in their game against the Packers, but not without help from the officials.

In what not only was a questionable call but a bad call, Packers linebacker Blake Martinez was called for unnecessary roughness after an incomplete pass. It is unclear what the official thought he saw, because replays showed Martinez did nothing to warrant a penalty.

Dak Prescott‘s pass to Dez Bryant on third-and-five fell incomplete. As the ball popped out underneath Bryant, with Bryant on the ground, Martinez tried to grab the loose ball. He grazed Bryant but did not make any real contact.

Still, it gave the Cowboys a first down, and they scored on the next play with Prescott hitting Cole Beasley for the 2-yard touchdown.

Fox rules analysts Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira both said it was a bad call. Blandino tweeted that Martinez made “incidental contact with the right arm when trying to break up the pass. Not a foul.”

The Packers scored on their first possession on a 10-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams, who returned 10 days after a brutal hit sent him to the hospital. But Mason Crosby missed the extra point, leaving the Packers trailing 7-6.