The big debate in the NFL after the first weekend of playoff action is the mystery of the disappearing pass interference penalty against the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial moment of their win over the Detroit Lions.
However, some feel that the the flag and the subsequent reversal of the penalty were secondary to a more egregious act on the same play.
After the flag was thrown, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant can be seen running on to the field to argue the call without a helmet. Being on the field without a helmet on is a big no-no in the NFL.
Instead of throwing a second flag on the play, the official simply pointed to the sideline to have Bryant leave the field.
Bryant was actually closer to the center of the field than either of the players involved in the play.
Some, including former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, feel this was much worse than the pass interference call, which is debatable.
“To me, [Dez Bryant’s actions were] worse than the pass interference call,” Dungy said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “You can debate the pass interference call. The helmet rule is plain. And for an official to not have the courage to call that. Dez Bryant is not on the field at the time. He is an offensive player not coming in as a substitute. There is no reason he is out there other than to argue the call with no helmet on. Every official should have thrown a flag at that point. At the very least it should have been another 15-yard penalty. And there is no way you can justify not calling that.”
The biggest issue with the pass interference call was that the referee made the announcement before discussing the ruling with the other officials. You can still make an argument that it was indeed pass interference, but judgement calls are sometimes missed and they happen in every game.
With Bryant running onto the field without a helmet for the sole purpose of arguing a call, no judgement was needed and a flag should have been thrown.
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