Another week of the 2019 NFL regular season, another officiating issue. Well, multiple really.
We’ll focus on one for now.
Cowboys-Patriots phantom tripping call
In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s New England Patriots-Dallas Cowboys game, the Cowboys were flagged for a phantom tripping call.
Trailing 13-9 and facing a third-and-1 from their own 35 on the first snap after the two-minute warning, the Cowboys picked up the first down on a short pass to Ezekiel Elliott, which gained 3 yards.
Offensive lineman Travis Frederick was flagged for tripping New England linebacker Donta’ Hightower as he rushed quarterback Dak Prescott. Hightower did fall down, helped by Zack Martin, but on replay it didn’t look like he was tripped.
Watch for yourself:
3rd and 1
Game on the line
— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) November 25, 2019
The 10-yard penalty pushed Dallas back to third-and-11 instead of having the first down.
DeMarcus Lawrence: ‘Let them call bulls- - -’
Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t mince words after the loss when he was asked about the non-penalty.
“I get tripped up every time, but it’s cool. I ain’t gonna sit here and cry about it. If the refs want to call bulls- - -, let them call bulls- - -,” Lawrence said. “It’s all about what we do. Everybody knows it was no such thing that a foot was thrown out or anybody was tripped.”
The tripping penalty wasn’t why Dallas lost. Three plays later on fourth-and-11, a Prescott-to-Amari Cooper 20-yard completion was ruled incomplete on review, and the fact the Cowboys were 2-of-13 on third down is a big negative. But it seems the NFL and its officials can’t go a week without a fairly obvious or significant misstep.
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