NFL’s “clear recovery” instant replay rule needs to change

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The Cowboys fumbled the opening kickoff on Sunday and the Eagles recovered. At least, that would be the case if common sense applied. But common sense took a back seat to the NFL’s rulebook, and so the Cowboys kept the ball.

Dallas returner Jourdan Lewis fumbled, the ball was on the ground, and Philadelphia’s Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nathan Gerry and LaRoy Reynolds were the only players around the ball. It wasn’t clear from the replay which of those three players was the first to secure the ball, but there were no Cowboys in any position to recover.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, an official on the field ruled Lewis down. The Eagles challenged, and replay made clear that Lewis wasn’t down. He fumbled. But no replay angle clearly showed which of the Eagles surrounding the ball made the recovery, and so the officials stayed with the ruling on the field, because a ruling of down by contact can only be overturned if there’s a clear recovery.

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said on FOX Sports that when the NFL made the “clear recovery” rule, the idea was that the officials didn’t want to be in a position where they were trying to guess about whether players were fighting over a ball in a pile. What never came up was what to do when every player in the pile was on the same team, as was the case on Sunday.

“The one area that didn’t come into play is if all the members of the pile were on the same team,” Pereira said.

Fellow former head of officiating Dean Blandino agreed that the rule about not using replay to figure out which player came out of a pile with the ball needs to accommodate plays when every player in the pile is on the same team.

“You’ve got to introduce some common sense that if there are only players of one team in the pile . . . you can treat that like a clear recovery,” Blandino said.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, there was no common sense, and the Cowboys kept the ball. That turned out to be incredibly costly: The Eagles likely would have come away with at least a field goal after the fumble, and they ended up losing the game in overtime. No one can say for sure what would have happened the rest of the game, but it’s entirely possible that the difference between the Eagles and Cowboys making the playoffs will turn out to be the officials incorrectly ruling who had the ball after the opening kickoff.

102 responses to “NFL’s “clear recovery” instant replay rule needs to change

  1. As a Cowboys fan that was in the stadium, I was in disbelief the call went against the Eagles. That game had some terrible calls and worse “make up” calls that went against both teams. The PI on Goeddert was bad then the make up call right after on Gregory was bad too.

  2. Slightly related to this is the problem with quick whistles on plays that wind up being fumbles. I’m not talking about when a player is held up by forward progress and three other guys come in and try to rip the ball out. The plays where the runner fumbles the ball, a defender clearly picks it up and runs for a TD… but doesn’t because the ref assumed he was down by contact.

  3. Sorry Eagles…. you weren’t playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl so there will be no instant rule changes to help you win…..

  4. Common sense tells me that the OPI call against Goedert was horrendous and completely changed how the rest of the game was played

  5. We had an entire game to overcome that bad call. Dallas won. Hate that we lost but the bigger issue was Wentz and his thing for Ertz. There’s other WRs on the team. I’m sure they were open. It was tough to watch Cooper against 4th stringers while Tate barely got a chance.

  6. I just watched this play over and over again. It seems like the ball was still moving between Eagles players when the whistle blew.

    I do think common sense says that the Eagles should have been awarded the ball. But, in real time, it looks like the refs were on the whistles too quickly, which could have been why they said no clear recovery. No one appeared to possess the ball before the whistle.

  7. Refs made several bad calls, mostly against Eagles. The fumble, OPI against Godert, threw a flag and picked it up right before half giving Cowboys a free timeout as the clock stopped when the refs threw the flag allowing 3 secs to kick a FG. All game changing calls.

  8. Dean Blandino says ‘we can use common sense’
    Its a shame he didnt realize that when he was in charge of officiating for the NFL.

  9. What happened to the first meeting with Dallas when cowboys had like 11 flags to Philly 0. Where are all the complaints and stories about that?

  10. That fumble recovery was far from the most egregious error by that officiating crew. The entire game was a clinic on how to be a stooge.

  11. “Colonel Quibble says:
    December 11, 2018 at 9:50 am
    Slightly related to this is the problem with quick whistles on plays that wind up being fumbles. I’m not talking about when a player is held up by forward progress and three other guys come in and try to rip the ball out. The plays where the runner fumbles the ball, a defender clearly picks it up and runs for a TD… but doesn’t because the ref assumed he was down by contact.”

    I’m ok with that if you are talking about multiple players in an area where it is hard to see the ball. I’d rather a play get whistled dead than let players continue to make late hits and pile on. Just like in hockey, a ref whistles a play dead when he loses sight of the puck under the goalie. A ref should whistle the play dead when forward progress is reasonably stopped or the ball carrier is down, unless they see the ball loose before the player is down. Players already take too many liberties to give them more time before blowing the whistle. Sometimes the call won’t work out in your favor, but you can still get recovery of the fumble, which is the most important thing.

  12. no dog in this fight..

    The Cowboys clearly fumbled. There were no Cowboys in the ensuing scrum. The Eagles got hosed by the NFL’s ridiculous grammar-nazi rulebook.

  13. “Eagles got robbed. Would have been up at least 3-0 and was a HUGE momentum swing.”

    Momentum swing on opening kickoff?

  14. Not an Eagles fan, but, that was a horrendous decision.

    But, to be ‘fair’, the officiating in that entire game was horrendous, with ticky tack penalties called throughout the game all the way into late in the fourth quarter and OT.

    Let the players decide the outcome of a game – not the refs.

  15. The rule does not really need to change. This is one of those things where they have a built-in argument no matter which way they make a ruling. Where in the rulebook does it say the referee needs to identify a specific player made the recovery? The team (which side possesses the ball going forward) is the only thing they need to determine. They never identify which player has the ball when the officials are digging through the pile. They just stick their head up and point to an end zone. Often, the other team comes out of the pile with the ball. As for the clear recovery replay scenario, if you can see one player gain control of the ball (at all) while in the pile or just prior to the pile obscuring view then that should be a clear recovery because he would have to be down by contact the instant the other team tries to strip the ball away.

  16. It’s made all the worse by the fact they have no problem filling in all kinds of other unknowable gaps when it comes to other reviews. They can tell the ground didn’t help with a catch, decide whether a guy was making a “football move” simply by looking at him and even change a spot on a crucial play despite not having any video angle straight down the line. But granting a fumble recovery when everybody involved is from the same team and a guy comes out the pile HOLDING THE BALL? That’s just a step too far.

  17. It was a terrible call, and I’m a huge Cowboys fan. I will say, on first blush, I thought the Goedert call was bad, but on the last angle they showed, he clearly blew Heath almost off his feet with his forearms. Heath may have been moving his feet a bit, but this isn’t basketball. He doesn’t have to be set like he’s taking a charge. He has a right to his space. It wasn’t a typical call, but it wasn’t blown one either. And it wasn’t like they waited til he got to the 1 to throw the flag. It came out pretty early.

  18. The OPI call was bad from every angle but the refs. The way Goedert went left and Heath was pushed off balance to the right looked like a push off from the refs point of view. We see it from a dozen differnt angles but not the refs. Body cams would help refs in training situations but i wouldn’t advocate public viewing as the mob doesn’t need any more ammo against refs.

  19. SJ says:
    December 11, 2018 at 9:47 am
    As a Cowboys fan that was in the stadium, I was in disbelief the call went against the Eagles. That game had some terrible calls and worse “make up” calls that went against both teams. The PI on Goeddert was bad then the make up call right after on Gregory was bad too.
    ——-

    Completely agree. The fumble and the OPI calls were absolutely unreal. But the roughing the passer was bogus. Even as an Eagles fan, I thought that when it happened.

    I don’t understand how the officiating seems to be getting worse. I can only think that it’s a lack of real accountability for these officials, lack of training, etc. And it all starts from the top, in Mr. Riveron’s office. He’s swung from playing Ultra High Definition God to refusing to reverse calls that are obviously wrong. His explanations of his actions are even worse. Riveron needs to go and there need to be real changes, such as:

    1. Officials should be fined for obviously blown calls

    2. Penalties and non-calls should be challengeable and reviewable

    3. Language about clear recovery needs to be revised.

    4. First down needs to be like in baseball. The offensive player should get the benefit of the doubt when it’s a “tie.” In other words, if it’s so close that the official has to use an index card (see OAK vs. DAL 2017) or he just can’t tell, the offense should be awarded the first down. Or, make it a definable measurement. If you’re within 1/2″ or 1/4″, you get it. Close enough. Or even make it so that the ball must be able to touch or exceed a specific point on the chain or stick. It’s not hard.

    5. While I’m at it, the overtime rules suck. I don’t even mean because we lost, but because it’s boring and not competitive. There are a lot of good options. I personally think just going back to 15 minute overtime (whoever is ahead wins at the end of the quarter) and then some sort of 25 yard line scoring competition scheme for 2OT and beyond. No ties.

  20. 1st game at the Linc – 5 flags on Dal and ZERO on Phil. Just a bit odd since you can call a hold on every play. 2nd game – 11 on Dal and 5 on Phil. So 16-5 that seems reasonable.

    Listen to TheGuru – while the momentum “may” have swung early, they still didn’t score the entire first half. The eagles don’t run the ball and Wentz stares down Ertz. While Garrett is terrible, Dougie Fresh obviously wasn’t the brains behind last year’s SB run.

  21. joestemme says:
    December 11, 2018 at 10:08 am
    Not an Eagles fan, but, that was a horrendous decision.

    But, to be ‘fair’, the officiating in that entire game was horrendous, with ticky tack penalties called throughout the game all the way into late in the fourth quarter and OT.

    Let the players decide the outcome of a game – not the refs.
    —————

    Wise words. I feel like they could apply in some fashion to every game I’ve watched this year. Every single one has had at least one instance of “wtf are they doing?!” In relation to the refs.

  22. Cry eagles Cry! Dallas had 11 penalties for 111 yards and 3 turnovers and you still couldn’t win the game. The record for a team winning in that situation is 1-73, so congrats on that stat.

  23. The NFL is making a statement to the new legalized betting community on why they should in fact be paid a “Integrity” fee. Look how easy it is to manipulate games with just 4 or 5 horrendously bad calls by the refs. Opening kickoff call should have been overturned. The using the crown of the helmet call on Elliott is something every RB does when getting tackled. And just after the BS offensive PI call on Goedert, he took not one but 2 obvious helmet to helmet hits which went un-flagged.

  24. birds got fat this season after winning sb. carson, jeffrey and jernigan all missed substantial time healing up from last yr. throw in crap ton of other injuries, esp in def backfield, and here they are, not good at all.
    seasons done, maybe next year

  25. NOW the officials “cost” the Eagles a game? How about the Eagles win more games as “defending” SB champs so one bad call doesn’t affect there playoff hopes. There were several bad calls on both teams, but the Cowboys still won. They outplayed and outcoached the Eagles. Besides, the Eagles could still take the East if they win their next 3 and Dallas loses their next 3. This loss was on the Eagles, not the refs, although it was poorly officiated.

  26. Get rid of the rule. Whoever has the ball when the pile clears gets possession. Doesn’t matter if there was a fight for the ball under the pile. And get rid of Mike Pereira and the other “experts.” Bringing in the “experts” is the most annoying part of any broadcast.

  27. How many bad game changing calls are we going to allow in a game?

    That wasn’t the only one, and it wasn’t the only time this year the Refs cost the Eagles a game ………. this happened in the Titans game as well!

    Same old deal from the NFL, the Refs mess up and the league backs the up.

    and that call went to NY for review so throwing the Refs under the bus is nothing more than a cop out!

  28. @ joestemme,

    “Let the players decide the outcome of a game – not the refs.”

    Dak’s 455 yards and 3 TD’s, Elliott’s 192 total yards, and Coopers 200+ yards and 3 TD’s. I think that qualifies as allowing the players to decide the outcome.

  29. As a Cowboys fan I saw the opening kickoff and fumble and I was “great so this is how the game is going to go!” When the refs said that it was still Dallas’ ball, I was as shocked as everybody else watching the game. Relieved, but shocked none the less. Bad call or no-call how ever you want to look at it. Happy with the victory, but upset that it deservedly has an asterisk next to it.

  30. The refs are clearly trying to help the Cowboys win is laughable. So much that opposing offenses have been called for two holding calls out of 13 games….

  31. The call was blown. However we all know how many missed calls there are
    and how they effect games. Remember the alleged penalty by the Cowboy’s
    center against at the Redskins. See Peter King”s thoughts on that call.
    The refs clearly waited until the game was on the line.
    Both teams could show us more than a few blown calls that
    could have made a difference.
    Bottom line this year the Cowboys mostly outplayed the Eagles
    and this year,as opposed to last year, the ball bounced the
    Cowboys way. Last year it most likely bounced the ‘
    Eagles way …..on their way to a great season.

  32. In a year of bad calls the kickoff fumble ranks as the worst. If we truely have someone in New York looking in to give the final decision to make sure the ref got the call right, this one is changed. But either we had nobody doing their job in NY, or that person having a partisan interest in which way the call went. There was absolutely NO WAY the Cowboys retain possession on that play and it’s not even debateable I don’t care how many rules anyone sites.

  33. The fumble and recovery are completely different than the horrible officiating. Sure, as and Eagles fan, that OPI on Godert was terrible. The roughing the passer on Dallas was terrible. But those things happen. It’s a fast game and the refs aren’t ever going to see everything and get everything right. However, that fumble and recovery…. That’s completely different. I am still dumbfounded at how they could have possibly given the ball to Dallas. If just one of their players were fighting for the ball, I can understand. It was 3 or 4 Eagles. That’s it. That was the ‘Let’s get Dallas to the playoffs’ call right there. Pathetic. #DemRefs.

  34. Wow, who even thinks that way? Sunday’s ruling has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with insanity.

  35. So let me see if I understand this. Because they couldn’t tell which Eagle player “was the first” to recover the ball, that means there was “no clear recovery” even though it was indisputable that the Eagles recovered the fumble.

    Is that right?

    Ok, just making sure.

  36. We all know that NFL stands for Not Fair League.

    Too many people forget that each named team has two opposing teams in every game — Home team, Visiting team, and Officiating team. That is part of the entertainment value of the game. There is one protagonist [your favorite team], and two antagonists in the story — the actions of ALL three teams are uncertain and unknown.

    Just as the Not Fair League continues to perpetuate chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE, formerly known as dementia pugilistica] by refusing to put shock sensors in helmets, and bench a player when the accumulated concussive shock exceeds a safe limit — so too, the Not Fair League refuses to implement readily available technology that would yield objective findings of fact on questionable matters. The Not Fair League even persists in using manual stopwatch timing at the combine.

    Likewise, baseball still utilizes an umpire to call balls and strikes, despite the objective fact of baseball placement in relation to the actual strike zone that is televised. Technology also exists to determine a runner put out, by the timing of ball in glove + defender foot on base + runner touching base.

    All this uncertainty is 100% intentional by the sports leagues, to increase emotional excitement and uncertainty of outcome in the fan. Consider how much people discussed the infamous “fail mary” catch, and how psychologically invested they felt in football. Poor officiating actually has the reverse effect by causing one to pay more, rather than less, attention + time + money to the sport of uncertainty.

    Other less popular sports have taken a different approach. E.g., Unlike baseball, tennis utilizes technology to call ball position with extremely high certainty, and nobody thinks twice about it anymore. The entertaining days of John McEnroe throwing a tantrum are long gone. For a very long time, race timing has been accurate to 1/1000th of a second; and even before that, there was the “photo finish.”

    In short, the Not Fair League is an anachronism, intentionally designed to give fans a historical experience of mystery and suspense, and it is surprising that the officials do not cite rugby rules in support of their decisions.

  37. I still don’t understand how they can determine it wasn’t a clear recovery. It doesn’t matter which player got the ball. What matters is which TEAM got the ball. This goes beyond common sense. It speaks to an inability to read and apply the English language.

  38. The play was called the way the rule was written. Period. Using “common sense” is ridiculous and EVEN WORSE way to affect the outcome.

    Seriously, look at all the conspiracy nuts here that accuse NFL/refs of fixing games, you want refs to arbitrarily apply “common sense” to something that they didn’t see? Be careful of what you wish for because you’re not thinking the consequences through.

    Examples:

    – a runner’s head suddenly turns to the side and a defender has his hand near the face cage. Ref didn’t actually SEE the hand jerk the faskmask, but “common sense” means it’s a 15 yard penalty

    – the WR and CB are running side-by-side and the WR all of a sudden falls to the ground while the CB has his hands on the guys back to balance himself from falling too – ref doesn’t SEE the actually contact, but “common sense” says DPI because a runner wouldn’t normally fall on his own

  39. markg29 says: “That was the ‘Let’s get Dallas to the playoffs’ call right there. Pathetic. #DemRefs.”
    ==================

    Then how do you explain the Eagles winning the SB last year? Why was Philly the favorite child in 2017 but all of a sudden in the NFL “doghouse” in 2018? Pathetic is right…

  40. seahawkcritique:

    Astute assessment…and accurate.

    However, to believe that personal or organizational bias does not pervade decision making at the NFL’s NYC “home office” is foolish. Evidence was this ridiculously biased call, which in fact, affected the outcome for both the fans, and the gamblers, of America. What’s worse is that the outcomes of all of the last 4 games the Dallas Cowboys have played were greatly affected by either no-calls, or poor calls. If that’s not evidence for organizational bias, then fake news is, in fact, real news. Facts are, in fact, not factual any longer.

    This is not a League of mystery and suspense….quite the opposite. It is a league of bias, hypocrisy, and apparently, rigged games.

  41. Why were eagle players fighting amongst themselves for possession of the fumble? If you watch the replay the ball was literally ripped out on multuple occasions from an eagles players’ hands by another eagle, no one maintained possession. It’s like a rebound in basketball, if one of your teammates has possession, you invariably lay off. The rule was enforced properly and no one rule is going to cover all scenarios, and in especially this particular situation.

  42. Only the NFL could turn something very easy to determine into a byzantine exercise in hiding behind a rule book. The Eagles were the only team that could’ve recovered the ball. The notion that teammates were fighting each other for the ball so it needs to go back to Dallas is ridiculous!

  43. That’s 3 games in a row where questionable calls that were in a position to determine the game went in favor of the Cowboys. The refs then try to make it less obvious by silly penalties against the Cowboys, this way people can say “oh, it was both sides” as if the game-changing calls were the same as a call on second and 5.

  44. Only the refs have something to gain by this ruling. But why should I be surprised anyway. The NFL doesn’t even know what a catch is so why would I expect them know what constitutes “clear recovery”.

  45. boyzfan says:
    December 11, 2018 at 10:16 am
    1st game at the Linc – 5 flags on Dal and ZERO on Phil. Just a bit odd since you can call a hold on every play. 2nd game – 11 on Dal and 5 on Phil. So 16-5 that seems reasonable.

    Listen to TheGuru – while the momentum “may” have swung early, they still didn’t score the entire first half. The eagles don’t run the ball and Wentz stares down Ertz. While Garrett is terrible, Dougie Fresh obviously wasn’t the brains behind last year’s SB run.
    ———————–

    This is a tired argument. It’s not the number of penalties. It’s the type and timing of the penalties. It’s the egregious nature of the calls that’s the problem. You had a fumbled ball that should have been Philadelphia’s by any standard. It wasn’t, because Al Riveron has his head up his butt. Then you had an OPI that negated a touchdown. It was a terrible call. Yes, they scored on the drive, but they would have scored much sooner and it likely affected the momentum and phycology of the teams.

    As for Doug, he’s clearly a good coach. His play calling has been suspect this year, for sure. I tend to think it’s more Mike Groh’s influence. Wentz doesn’t look like himself this year. Some of it is that he’s a step slower with the brace. Some of it is bad OL play. some of it is trusting the knee 100%. Some of it is just a slump for some reason. I still think Wentz is terrific and will be an elite QB, but I’d agree he’s not there yet.

    Can we talk about Dak? Because I don’t care what his numbers are…he’s awful.

  46. My local Fox station was not available on Dish or Direct so I had to listen to Babe Laufenberg’s very colorful version on a radio.

  47. @Akira
    Those have to be the two worst analogies to use. Pass interference is determine by contact, not an player falling. So saying WE fell during the route, he must have been interfered with discloses any other legal reason he could have fallen. Same with the facemask. A players head jerking to the side does not mean someone pulled his facemask.
    Not to mention neither of those would be under review, which is what we are talking about.
    If a ref has concluded that there was a fumble via review, then the next step is determining clear recovery. In most instances there are multiple players from each time around it. So they need to clearly see recovery to give it to the defending team. In the instance that there is no player from one team in the pile and the play is dead then recovery can be clearly given to one team and sensibly given go whatever player emerges from the pile with it. There is no common sense needed. Possession is awarded to a team, not an individual player. The only thing it could affect is someone’s stat line.

  48. Y’all are acting like this was the last play of the game. It was literally the first. The Cowboys were the best team on Sunday, as indicated by their 500+ yards of offense. They moved the ball with ease, and the Eagles were just not good enough. Bad calls went both ways, get over it.

  49. Cowboys and cowboy fans ecstatic they beat an Eagles team depleted in their defensive secondary and needed help from the refs to win. The fumble non call was egregious, then they compound it making it worse by saying it was a fumble but no one clearly recovered it. Then the bogus Dallas Goedert OPI.
    Dallas cowbums are frauds. The NFL is rigged/fixed..I never thought this, but I see it now. WWE=NFL!

    FLY EAGLES FLY!!! FOREVER!!!

  50. That was literally one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in football. Clear fumble, clear recovery with no Cowboy player within 5 yards of the ball. That game should have an *. Get that call right and it’s a totally different game.

  51. @ Eaglehaslanded

    Cowboys and cowboy fans ecstatic they beat an Eagles team depleted in their defensive secondary and needed help from the refs to win. The fumble non call was egregious, then they compound it making it worse by saying it was a fumble but no one clearly recovered it. Then the bogus Dallas Goedert OPI.
    Dallas cowbums are frauds. The NFL is rigged/fixed..I never thought this, but I see it now. WWE=NFL!

    FLY EAGLES FLY!!! FOREVER!!!

    Sour grapes, bro. Your paper champs couldn’t get out of their own way and blew leads in many games. The officiating was bad for both teams, but crying about the refs and the Cowboys “needing” the refs to win is ridiculous when the Cowboys had close to 600 yards of offense on the “defending” SB chumps. All your Sheagles can do now is win out and hope the Cowboys lose their last 3. Even if that did happen, the Eagles would choke it all away in the first round of the playoffs, just like your Boy Grugier-hill talked about.

  52. How about Jake Elliott NOT missing an extra point that would have had the Eagles up by one at the end of regulation, and would have been game over. No ref interference there, or did Jerruh also pay Elliott to miss that extra point like he paid off the refs?

  53. The NFL has bad rules, or bad refs that apply them inconsistently? You don’t say…

    Also, how bad was the blocked FG by Seattle where they threw the correct flag and then picked it up.

  54. Still with the boo-hooing over the officiating. I have some FACTS for you all. (I know facts upset many, but here goes). Penalties: Eagles: 5-49 yds. Dallas: 11-111 yds. Dallas: Teams playing Cowboys have the fewest holding penalties called on them in 2018. Dak Prescott: 17-20 243 yards, 3 TDs 159.3 QB rating (perfect) in 4th quarter and OT. (refs didn’t do that). Dallas blew many chances in the red zone with penalties, turnovers and Eagle D beating them up front–otherwise this game would have been (Like New Orleans) a blowout. Pure and simple. Say what you want about Dak, but he was perfect when they needed him and oh, by the way–since 2016 only Brady has more 4th quarter comebacks than Dak Prescott. Suck on them facts kids. Learn football better, save yourselves some stress.

  55. pxac says:
    December 11, 2018 at 9:57 am
    Refs made several bad calls, mostly against Eagles. The fumble, OPI against Godert, threw a flag and picked it up right before half giving Cowboys a free timeout as the clock stopped when the refs threw the flag allowing 3 secs to kick a FG. All game changing calls.
    ————–

    Dallas called a timeout before half. Godert isn’t allowed to push a defender down, whether inside the 5 yards or not, contact yes, but not push him down extending. There were 11 penalties called on Dallas, I would say half were legit, at least six extended drives… They all changed the game, however it wasn’t one sided.

  56. BTW–the officiating sucks overall and is affecting games. We know that very well since it outright cost us a game in Washington….Otherwise we would be 9-4 today. Water under the bridge kids.

  57. Eaglehaslanded !!! says:
    December 11, 2018 at 11:59 am
    Cowboys and cowboy fans ecstatic they beat an Eagles team depleted in their defensive secondary and needed help from the refs to win. The fumble non call was egregious, then they compound it making it worse by saying it was a fumble but no one clearly recovered it. Then the bogus Dallas Goedert OPI.
    Dallas cowbums are frauds. The NFL is rigged/fixed..I never thought this, but I see it now. WWE=NFL!

    FLY EAGLES FLY!!! FOREVER!!!
    ——

    Dude, Dallas racked up over 500 yards on offense with multiple linemen, 2 of them the best in their position in the league, missing.

    You should know the league is fixed after last year’s Super Bowl… That was a gift from theleague.

  58. janvanflac says:
    December 11, 2018 at 12:05 pm
    That was literally one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in football. Clear fumble, clear recovery with no Cowboy player within 5 yards of the ball. That game should have an *. Get that call right and it’s a totally different game.
    ——-

    one play does not make it a totally different game. Tell the kicker to make his extra point…

  59. @jman967
    The whole point is that was no clear replay of an actual recovery. Yes, we can ASSUME it was one of the Eagles player, but that’s not how rules work. The refs need definitive proof either way WITHOUT assuming anything or applying “common sense”. The moment you start going down that rabbit hole, fans will want “common sense” applied to every scenario.

  60. The call was blown. However we all know how many missed calls there are
    and how they effect games. Remember the alleged penalty by the Cowboy’s
    center against at the Redskins. See Peter King”s thoughts on that call.
    The refs clearly waited until the game was on the line.
    Both teams could show us more than a few blown calls that
    could have made a difference.
    Bottom line this year the Cowboys mostly outplayed the Eagles
    and this year,as opposed to last year, the ball bounced the
    Cowboys way. Last year it most likely bounced the ‘
    Eagles way …..on their way to a great season.

    *********************
    Penalties aren’t reviewable… this was. Totally criminal! Gift wrapped for Dallas, disgrace.

  61. It is a loser mentality to blame officiating. If a team is so mentality weak that the first play of the game “affects them going forward” than that team doesn’t deserve to win.

  62. The rule doesn’t need to change. The rule is fine. The problem is that they didn’t follow the rule or enforce it properly. More rules won’t change the fact that the officiating didn’t follow the rule.

    Grugier-Hill walked off the field with the ball in his hand. How is that not CLEAR RECOVERY? They didn’t just leave the ball on the ground and walk away.

  63. Dallas called a timeout before half. Godert isn’t allowed to push a defender down, whether inside the 5 yards or not, contact yes, but not push him down extending. There were 11 penalties called on Dallas, I would say half were legit, at least six extended drives… They all changed the game, however it wasn’t one sided.

    A swim move isn’t pushing someone to the ground, and Heath didn’t goto the ground, so what are you talking about?

    https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2018/12/9/18133575/philadelphia-eagles-dallas-goedert-cowboys-worst-opi-call-ever-refs-video-screw-job-touchdown-pass

  64. Examples:

    – a runner’s head suddenly turns to the side and a defender has his hand near the face cage. Ref didn’t actually SEE the hand jerk the faskmask, but “common sense” means it’s a 15 yard penalty

    – the WR and CB are running side-by-side and the WR all of a sudden falls to the ground while the CB has his hands on the guys back to balance himself from falling too – ref doesn’t SEE the actually contact, but “common sense” says DPI because a runner wouldn’t normally fall on his own

    ************
    Are these examples reviewable? Then they don’t hold water… you obviously need common sense.

  65. I didn’t know they changed the rule and made pushing the defender with both arms outstretched legal now. The TE went out of his way right into the defender and pushed him to get free. Of course it was PI. Just stop.

  66. I don’t understand the parameters of “clear recovery.” Does that include after the whistle? If so wouldn’t some players stop when the whistle blows?

  67. 50DrunksInABar says:
    December 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm
    Dallas called a timeout before half. Godert isn’t allowed to push a defender down, whether inside the 5 yards or not, contact yes, but not push him down extending. There were 11 penalties called on Dallas, I would say half were legit, at least six extended drives… They all changed the game, however it wasn’t one sided.

    A swim move isn’t pushing someone to the ground, and Heath didn’t goto the ground, so what are you talking about?

    https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2018/12/9/18133575/philadelphia-eagles-dallas-goedert-cowboys-worst-opi-call-ever-refs-video-screw-job-
    ——-

    Great video glad you posted…

    The contact was still going at 5.5 yards past the LOS making it illegal. Good try though.

    In all seriousness though, anytime a receiver hits a DB so hard it makes him change direction it will be subject to PI, was it ticky tacky yes, but by the rule? There were two roughing calls for Wentz that were pretty tick tack, by the rule, but fairly tick tack. Smith was called for 3 holding penalties, only one was legit. Refs bailed the ealges out several times on penalties, so again, let’s not act like this was a one-sided affair. 11 for 111 against Dallas 4 against the Eagles, come on man. And for the argument of its not that penalties were called its when, Dallas had 1st and goal at the 4 and somehow it was 3rd and goal at the roughly 30 that resulted in a missed field goal. Those penalties were pretty big as well.

  68. btw–again anyone who thinks the blown call on the fumble would have affected the outcome of the entire game, learn more about football. You had real trouble scoring against this D, especially early on (see the FACTS). It was a blown call, it meant little, all things considered. The TD overturn was also a bad call, but I have seen worse. Heath nearly went to the ground, it was close to being outside 5 yards, blah, blah, blah. Gregory’s “roughing the passer” extended a drive.(bogus all day long) There were blatant holds not called, again, teams playing Dallas have the fewest holding calls on them. Period. You literally had NO penalties called on you in previous game–we still beat you. If Dallas sucks, then you really SUCK. Your team “got better” in the offseason and was predicted to easily repeat. Now, you will be sitting at home watching the playoffs, like you should be. Be glad, after all these miserable years, you FINALLY got ONE ring. Might be a while before you get another. Enjoy it, technically you are world champions until the next SB. Revel in it, stop the whining, starting to sound like POTUS with all the whining, blaming, excuses. It’s embarrassing.

  69. 50DrunksInABar says:
    December 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm
    Dallas called a timeout before half. Godert isn’t allowed to push a defender down, whether inside the 5 yards or not, contact yes, but not push him down extending. There were 11 penalties called on Dallas, I would say half were legit, at least six extended drives… They all changed the game, however it wasn’t one sided.

    A swim move isn’t pushing someone to the ground, and Heath didn’t goto the ground, so what are you talking about?

    https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2018/12/9/18133575/philadelphia-eagles-dallas-goedert-cowboys-worst-opi-call-ever-refs-video-screw-job-
    ————

    Also, Godert initiates contact helmet to helmet so bad his almost comes off… Guess that is only a penalty for Zeke when he is on offense.

  70. NFL’s “clear recovery” instant replay rule needs to change

    >>> WHY DOES IT? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO AWARD THE BALL TO IF THERE’S NO CLEAR RECOVERY?

  71. akira1971 says:
    December 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    The whole point is that was no clear replay of an actual recovery. Yes, we can ASSUME it was one of the Eagles player, but that’s not how rules work. The refs need definitive proof either way WITHOUT assuming anything or applying “common sense”. The moment you start going down that rabbit hole, fans will want “common sense” applied to every scenario.

    you dont need to see which player recovered it in a pile of eagles…its clearly been recovered by an eagle, there was no dallas players in the scrum so who recovered the ball!?

  72. scoocha says:
    December 11, 2018 at 1:08 pm
    I didn’t know they changed the rule and made pushing the defender with both arms outstretched legal now. The TE went out of his way right into the defender and pushed him to get free. Of course it was PI. Just stop.

    went out of his way? he was running his route and was within 5 yards and did a swim move…your bias is showing

  73. I don’t understand the parameters of “clear recovery.” Does that include after the whistle? If so wouldn’t some players stop when the whistle blows?

    *************
    Any player worth his salt, knows the play can be reviewed , so if a ball is loose to establish posession, nice try JJ

  74. Eaglehaslanded !!! says:
    December 11, 2018 at 11:59 am
    Cowboys and cowboy fans ecstatic they beat an Eagles team depleted in their defensive secondary and needed help from the refs to win. The fumble non call was egregious, then they compound it making it worse by saying it was a fumble but no one clearly recovered it. Then the bogus Dallas Goedert OPI.
    Dallas cowbums are frauds. The NFL is rigged/fixed..I never thought this, but I see it now. WWE=NFL!

    FLY EAGLES FLY!!! FOREVER!!!

    >>>So you’re claiming that because of that bad(no clear recovery) call to start the game that the Eagles D then laid down the rest of the game and let the Cowboys put up 597yds of offense on them?

    Now that’s some egregious thinking there = GROW UP!!! Just face the fact, the Eagles aren’t nearly as good this year as they were last year, the SB hangover is alive and well!

  75. 50 year plus Eagles fan here.This ridiculous call and calls against The Eagles really effected the game tremendously!!!
    Sadly the officiating in the league keeps getting worse and calls like this seem to happen more and more in a lot of games every Sunday. The game is losing credibility and hence you lose interest.

  76. Folks saying no rule changes should probably read the rules. The officials went AGAINST the rules. If there is a group of players surrounding the balls trying to recover and they are ALL the same team, its a clear recovery. No Cowboys player was in the pile.

    Lets not get started on the phantom PI call on Ertz because 2 players heads hit eachother while running a route and had a TD taken away…..

  77. st0n3r78 says: “Folks saying no rule changes should probably read the rules. The officials went AGAINST the rules.”
    ============================

    You DO know that the rules are posted online, right? Here is the actual wording (Rule 15, Arcicle 5):

    “If an on-field ruling of a dead ball (down by contact, out of bounds, or incomplete forward pass) is changed, the ball belongs to the recovering player at the spot of the recovery, and any advance is nullified. The recovery must occur in the continuing action following the loss of possession. If the ball goes out of bounds in an end zone, the result of the play will be either a touchback or a safety. If the Referee does not have clear and obvious visual evidence as to which player recovered the loose ball, or that the ball went out of bounds, the ruling on the field will stand.”

    Key words:
    – “RECOVERING PLAYER”, not recovering team
    – “clear and obvious visual evidence”, not common sense or assumption

  78. Why can’t the NFL use common sense and not make rules for everything?

    Common sense would have ruled the ball in the Eagles favor this game. The Gregory sack when he grabbed the ankle, but got called for roughing the passer would have gone in Dallas favor.

    I can accept a NFL ref saying “I thought it was a catch” for something that may not have been a catch instead of “The player had to have possession, make a football move with two steps while controlling the ball”. The NFL is trying to take the human factor out, but its making it worse.

  79. @Akira
    You dont have to assume a thing to grant possession to the Eagles. When there is no chance a Cowboys player recovered the ball, you have a clear recovery to award possession to a team. As I said, possession is awarded to a team, not a player. When the ball is possessed in a pile with only one team. You are not assuming anything.
    And again, your analogies were not just trash, they were illogical and irrelevant.
    You were talking about assumptions made in the play of the game and we are talking about determinations on review. Apples and oranges.

  80. Bad call on the fumble – no argument. Questionable call on Goedert that actually HELPED the Eagles, as they scored later in the drive and took more time off the clock on the last Dallas drive that ultimately led to OT.

    NEITHER call can be blamed on the Eagles losing. Prescott and Cooper and Zeke pummeled the Eagles D, and the Dallas D shut down Philly for the majority of the game DESPITE Dal gifting 3 turnovers that Philly couldn’t capitalize on enough to win. Blame the loss on Jake Elliott missing an extra point.

    The Philly team (and their fans) need to look in the mirror for the reasons they lost. You lost, you were severely outplayed, and bad calls were made against both teams.

    Paper champs sums it up. The chips all fell right last year, and defending the title gets you nowhere unless it is actually learned. Win out and hope Dallas loses all 3 is the only hope, but it ain’t gonna happen, though.

  81. TheGuru says:
    December 11, 2018 at 9:56 am
    We had an entire game to overcome that bad call. Dallas won. Hate that we lost but the bigger issue was Wentz and his thing for Ertz. There’s other WRs on the team. I’m sure they were open. It was tough to watch Cooper against 4th stringers while Tate barely got a chance.

    ——————

    You realize on Wentz’s 2 TD drives at the end… not one lass to Ertz right? You realize Wentz went up to Doug to talk about something and then all of a sudden we shredded that overhyped Dallas defense right?

    Eagles were down to guys off the street at CB. Not to mention being screwed by the terrible call. Had the whole game to make it up? The NFL doesnt work like that. Games are usually close and those types of swings change games.

    Wentz is gonna be one of the best QBs in the league and the eagles have a bright future but just too many injuries and things to overcome this year. Dallas ain’t much better, I think Eagles come back next season and destroy the division.

  82. I agree the fumble was a terrible call. With that said if the Eagles miss the playoffs by a game either through winning the division or wild card then we can revisit this game. If not then I dont see how this was a “get Dallas into the playoffs” game by the refs. The OPI was terrible but the Eagles still scored a touchdown on the same drive. A drive extended by the bogus roughing the passer.

    Dallas still had more penalties than the Eagles had in the game. That doesn’t really go with the agenda that some are pushing. With terrible calls made against every team at some point this year I’m not sure how many teams you guys think the refs can get into the playoffs.

    Let the rest of the season play out. Theres still more bad calls that will go out to benefit your team. Vikings dont look too impressive right now. If Eagles win out the can still make it.

    FYI if Dallas lost they would still have the wildcard spot and are in a good position to make the playoffs regardless of winning the division.

  83. Didn’t see the game, haven’t watched replays and have no dog in this fight, I can see the argument for the Eagles being given the ball but… If the Eagles had 2 or more players fighting each other for possession of the ball, don’t blame the refs, the rules or the NFL, blame the players. Didn’t any of them have their eyes open and brain engaged to notice they were fighting their teammates for the ball? Pay attention to jersey colors and markings, that’s why they are all different and they have light and dark home/away jerseys, so there shouldn’t be any problem knowing who’s who. So, Eagles/egos(?) problem and Cowboys ball.

  84. The game was lost on a missed PAT.

    But really the Eagles just got lucky last year and should probably put Foles back in there.

  85. Horrible call. Period.

    That said, those clamroing for it costing a TD need to get a wholesale grip. Are you basing that on the total of zero points scored the entire first half of that game or wishful thinking? The evidence seems to suggest the latter.

  86. I am an Eagles fan and I detest the Dallas Cowboys. Just about the only thing I hate more than the Cowboys is when atrocious refereeing decides a crucial game.
    For example, years ago, the loathsome Dez Bryant had a catch disallowed in a playoff game against the Packers. I love my Eagles, but Bryant made that catch. Similarly, when three Eagles recover a fumble in Dallas’ home stadium, it should be ruled a fumble. How about getting the calls right, NFL?

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