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Divisional Playoff liveblog: Cowboys at Packers


2014 NFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the Cowboys-Packers Divisional Playoff game from Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras

Today’s crew his headed by Gene Steratore.

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 12 Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 129 Bill Schuster 15 Coleman Alfred insurance broker
HL 8 Dana McKenzie 7 Morelli Toledo claims adjuster
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 5 Vinovich Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
FJ 43 Terry Brown 9 Boger Tennessee probation supervisor
SJ 97 Tom Hill 16 Allen Carson Newman teacher
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 6 Cheffers Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
  • Replay official: Bill Spyksma
  • Replay assistant: Terry Sullivan
  • Alternates: R Jeff Triplette, HL Jim Howey, FJ Dyrol Prioleau
  • Supervisor: Gary Slaughter
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25 thoughts on “Divisional Playoff liveblog: Cowboys at Packers

  1. Once again, the Cowboys have 12th player on the field, in stripes. No, wait a minute. The officials are just weak, once again. Missed call 1 – DPI against Green Bay. This is nothing more than feet tangled up with BOTH players playing the ball. There was no restriction in actuality, just poor judgment on the deep official’s part for seeing what he “thought” was a foul, when he was not. Make it big! As most of you DO NOT know, the philosophy book for the officials states:

    If neither player is playing the ball or both are playing the ball and their feet become tangled, there is no foul for DPI or OPI.
    • If only one player is playing the ball and their feet become entangled, this is a foul for pass interference.

    Here, both players were playing the ball and feet were tangled up. There was a grab but no restriction. IC (Incorrect call)

    Missed call # 2 – Roughing the passer on Romo. Matthews came low and late. Textbook roughing the passer. The rule?

    once a pass has been released by a passer, a rushing defender may make direct contact with the passer only up through the rusher’s first step after such release (prior to second step hitting the ground); thereafter the rusher must be making an attempt to avoid contact and must not continue to “drive through” or otherwise forcibly contact the passer; and A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee.

    Simply atrocious these guys missed these easy calls. When will you all be calling for Steratore’s head for not protecting Romo??? I love reading the tweets from all the suck ups on the left trying to justify these incorrect and missed calls. Atrocious. High school guys don’t miss these basic, easy calls.

  2. Reviews don’t mean anything any more. “Completion” by Packers clearly showed tip of football hitting the turf, but “after review,” striped shirts declare ruling on field confirmed. I call Bull-Hockey!


  4. I would have my team walk off field after the reversal of Bryant catch. I’m not even a cowboy fan.

  5. Ha ha ha and all these suck ups on this site saying this clown is the best. Hell, any R worth his salt knows you stand still when making an announcement. This guy walks and talks. Also, how about that huge roughing the passer committed by Clay Matthews against Romo in the first half. Hit him late, and below the knees. Should draw an automatic flag from even the most novice of R’s. My question is: Everyone knows that their are no special requirements for being hired as an NFL official, other than the normal diversity requirements and requirements that you have a father or uncle in the league or retired, either as an official or supervisor. However, for playoff selection, is there a requirement that at least half the crew assigned must be at least 30 pounds overweight? Even in the cold weather gear, at least half the crews were spare tire fat, and had difficulty moving up and down the field. Just wondering if their is an ADA requirement that half the crew be overweight?

  6. Cowboy fans crying already. The same Cowboys that:

    1) got handed the game by the refs last week (what convienent memories you all have)

    2) have a long history dating back to the Tex Schramm days of getting a LOT of gift calls/non calls at Texas Stadium..

    For all the rule impaired people, Mike Periera in detail explained it- you didn’t get it (or didn’t want to get it).

    What goes around comes around…..

  7. BS on the refs call on Bryant’s catch: From the NFL RULE BOOK ..Under COMPLETED OR INTERCEPTED PASS:
    Item 1: Player 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 throughout the process of contacting 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.

  8. So Mr. Dickels, what part of the “if he loses control of the ball and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete” aren’t you grasping?

  9. So exactly how many steps would he need to take in order for it to be considered an act common to the game? He caught the ball with both hands, took at least three steps while moving the ball to his left and attempted to reach for the goal line which is when the ball hit the ground and moved? Horrible call and rule!

  10. My question is pretty much the same as Tony D’s. If a player catches the ball, runs 20 steps, falls to the ground, and the ball hits the ground and wiggles in his hands, is it incomplete? Of course not. At some point, he ceases being a pass receiver and becomes a ball carrier. What does it take to get to that point? I would think taking 3 steps (as Dez did) would do it.

  11. I’m seriously believing that if a WR was stumbling for ten yards and then hit the ground and the ball came out (and hit the ground) they would call incomplete.

    I’m no Cowboy fan and I’m not sure the ball ever hit the ground.

    But as the guys above said if the WR catches the ball (with possession) takes two steps and leaps how is that NOT a football move just because he continued to the ground?

    How far can he run, stumbling even, before they say he “completed the act of the catch”?

    Everyone agrees its a dumb rule…but t apparently gets reviewed every year and never changed.

    Does the league WANT dumb rules that are subjective?

  12. The silence is deafening. It is laughable listening to the non-officials running the commentary on this site during the game, who have never worked an upper level game, yet believe they are qualified to comment and/or criticize calls. By the way, the ball did not hit the ground. It popped up, off Bryant’s arm, when he secured it in the EZ after taking three steps. Another blunder by the clowns in stripes. But as we say in basketball, “Ball don’t lie” and Dallas got what was coming to them as they had no business playing today but for one of the most horrendous calls in NFL history last week against Detroit.

  13. There are two separate issues with the Bryant catch. 1: Was it a catch?. 2: Should the rule be changed? For the first, the answer is easy: no, it wasn’t a catch, because he never gained his balance while he was coming down to the ground after the catch, and when he hit the ground, the ball hit the ground and popped loose. (Anyone who says he came down on his feet and then started running towards the end zone is making that up. I’m watching it right now. He comes down and loses his balance before his feet are set. In that instance, you must maintain control while hitting the ground.) Okay, here’s the second one, and one I hope this blog addresses: should the rule be changed? This, of course, is simply a judgement call, but I like the rule as is because it simplifies the situation and can be called more consistently than if the rule isn’t in place. If the guy is falling to the ground and holds on to the ball throughout, it’s a completion. If he can’t, it’s not. If you know the rule, it’s very easy to see and takes the “judgement” aspect out of it.

  14. To anyone who doesn’t like the catch rule, what would you change it to that would make the Bryant play a catch? Just two feet down? There are many more passes that get broken up by a defender immediately after hitting the receivers hands. You’d turn these all into fumbles if the receiver’s feet are on the ground? What about a diving catch with a knee down that comes loose when the ball hits the ground?

  15. It wasn’t just two feet down. He had control enough to hold the ball in one hand and extend his arm toward the goal line.

    In every regard that was a “catch” except for the judgement that he must maintain it to the ground, through the roll, and maybe even back to the sidelines! LOL!

  16. They didn’t call the 2 late hits on Romo and I thought they missed at least 2 holdings on GB. There was one where the guy was being hugged. I agree the DPI on GB was ticky tack thought Williams sold the call.

  17. The current rule defies the laws of physics!! Yes, if you stop the ball/pass from moving, get 2 feet down and then are hit (by an opponent or the ground) and ball pops out, make it a fumble!!! The ball stopped moving when secured by the WR, 2 feet/toes are down, he is fair game. Where is teh guess work? The defense is already so incredibly restricted in what they can hit and not hit, make them time a hit o a WR so they can cause that fumble.
    If “going” to the ground in the “process of making the catch” (the most ridiculous phrase in sports besides “play-action pass”..since EVERY play is indeed “play action”), and I possess/secure/stop the movement of the ball with a knee or knees or the side of my body on the ground, and then I release/drop or it, then fumble! I hate the Cowboys, but if someone tells you that Dez was not trying to reach for the GL (ergo, a “football move”), they are crazy. What else what he being doing in that situation other than trying to reach for the GL after THREE body parts were already on the ground AFTER being contacted (so by rule, and the law of physics), he was ‘down.’ (see my baseball analogy down below).
    If the current rule remains, than all defenders should let air-born receivers possess (notice, not “catch”) the ball, let them hit the ground to see if the ball pops out or not. If it does under my definition, it is a fumble (sorry WR, but don’t lose possession, a.k.a. drop the ball). If he does maintain possession (“catch”), then just a 1-hand tap to put him “down.
    Same logic I apply to a baseball outfielder who CLEARLY secures a fly ball in his glove, takes a step, hits the outfield wall and then the ball comes out of his glove. The laws of physics tells us he CAUGHT the ball a second (or less) BEFORE hitting the wall, therefore an out.

  18. Jerome,

    The way both football and base treat the catch are VERY similar. Show that you VOLUNTARILY gave up possession of the ball. You obviously have to have complete control of your body to do this. Bryant did NOT have control of his body and lost the ball when he hit the ground. The same for a baseball player who runs into the wall and loses the ball – NO catch.

    Good calls by football and baseball officials.

  19. For those who don’t like the rule, come up with something that will stand up under examination. In the meantime, the right call was made. He got greedy and tried to reach for the end zone.

  20. Actually techvet he didn’t get greedy…he made a football move.

    Just not “enough of a football move” according to Blandino.

    But they have an alternative and are afraid it will lead to “too many fumbles”. So they are using the excuse that they are protecting the receivers.

  21. techvet, you’re right, he DID reach, therefore he DID control his body by making a conscious move “common to the game,” which is REACH FOR THE GOAL LINE when you’re close!! Something under examination is what I put in my previous post.

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