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Should Dez Bryant’s Controversial Catch Against The Packers Have Counted?

Submitted by on January 12, 2015 – 11:24 amOne Comment
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During the Dallas Cowboys/Green Packers playoff game on Sunday, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made the biggest catch of his entire career. Or at least, what he thought was the biggest catch of his entire career. On a fourth down play with a little more than four minutes left in the fourth quarter of the game and the Cowboys trailing 26-21, Bryant caught a pass on the Packers’ one-yard line, dove towards the end zone, and nearly scored a touchdown. He was ruled down at the one-yard line after the ball hit the ground and popped out of his hands. But still, it put the Cowboys into perfect position to score a go-ahead touchdown. That is, until Packers head coach Mike McCarthy threw a challenge flag and asked the referees to take another look at the play.

Bryant’s catch was eventually ruled incomplete. Reason being, the referees determined that, while Bryant did catch the ball, he didn’t maintain possession of it when he hit the ground. And according to NFL rules, a player needs to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of a catch if he’s unable to make a “football move” after catching it. So while Bryant looked like he may have tried to make a move by diving towards the end zone, the referees didn’t see it that way and called his catch incomplete. The Packers assumed possession of the ball, ran out the rest of the clock, and won the game. And Cowboys fans were left to watch the Dez Bryant play over and over and over again after the game and to wonder how it wasn’t ruled a catch:

The problem with the call is that everyone seems to be seeing it differently today. From angry Cowboys fans who think it was a catch to letter-of-the-law NFL analysts who have applauded the referees for making the right call based on the NFL rules, there’s no consensus on the catch. And that means that the NFL should probably reevaluate the rules pertaining to the Dez Bryant play in the offseason. Because while the refs did technically make the correct call, that call isn’t sitting well with people who hate the rule that’s in place to begin with. Given how easily some players catch balls and simultaneously make “football moves” these days, it seems the NFL needs to take a closer look at the Dez Bryant play and determine whether or not they need to make some adjustments to their reception rules.

Until then, Cowboys fans are going to have to deal with what happened to their team yesterday. It’s going to be a difficult pill for them to swallow. But unfortunately, they’re going to have to do it because of the rules that are in place in the NFL today.

What do you think about the call that was made on Dez Bryant’s catch?

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