The Dallas Cowboys trailed the Green Bay Packers 26 – 21 with 4:06 left in the fourth quarter of today’s second round playoff game. On 4th and 2, in Green Bay territory, Tony Romo went for it all down the sideline.
Dez Bryant leaped and made what was considered an incredible leaping catch and was down at the Green Bay one yard line. It can only be assumed that Dallas would have punched it in to take the lead in the coming minutes.
Video Courtesy of Josiah Huffman
Instead, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy threw the challenge flag and the play went under review. The referees overturned the call and Dallas turned the ball over on downs. That pretty much sealed the fate of the Cowboys. But was it the right call?
According to NFL Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 Going to the ground: “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
But was it the right call? Or did Dez Bryant make a complete catch before the end of the play? Would three steps, a football move and the elbow hitting the ground before it came out constitute a catch?
With that the Packers ended the game and sent the boys from Dallas home for the remainder of the year. Regardless, did that call doom the Cowboys to lose and propel the Green Bay Packers to Seattle next week to face the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game?