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Wild Card liveblog: Lions at Cowboys


2014 NFC Wild Card Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the Bengals-Colts Wild Card Playoff game from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

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

Today’s crew his headed by Pete Morelli.

Yrs 2014 crew College Occupation
R 135 Pete Morelli 18 St Mary’s high school principal
U 81 Roy Ellison 12 Wrolstad Savannah State technical staff member
HL 91 Jerry Bergman 13 Coleman Robert Morris sales executive
LJ 90 Mike Spanier 16 Coleman St Cloud State middle school principal
FJ 20 Barry Anderson 8 Torbert North Carolina State builder/developer
SJ 56 Allen Baynes 7 Boger Auburn realtor
BJ 27 Lee Dyer 12 Wrolstad Tennessee-Chattanooga sales manager
  • Replay official: Bob McGrath
  • Alternates: Jeff Triplette (R)
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33 thoughts on “Wild Card liveblog: Lions at Cowboys

  1. Refs in the Wild Card / Divisional rounds can work the SB too, right? If so Morelli has to be on the shortlist for that assignment.

  2. Overall, the officiating has been good this weekend. In my opinion the biggest issues are consistency amongst the crews. Some crew call nothing, others call too much. The other issue I see is when the networks bring in the retired officials. They always seems to contradict the officials on the field and replay officials. Especially with Mike Carey. I seriously wonder if some of the officials don’t like each other? I’m sure there are some serious egos!

  3. Refs in NFLDallas & Detroit are really poor. Not a fan of either team but Detroit really getting screwed by refs.

  4. Overall this has been a good and entertaining Wildcard Weekend with the folks in Stripes doing a good job, but I don’t know how the waved off DPI isn’t going to be the biggest story of weekend. I know there’s limited ref media availability, but I hope that Morelli is allowed to talk about this. Would also like to hear from Blandino… Just a brutal call that completely changed the game, and the fact that they threw it and then picked it up. Wow…

  5. The league doesn’t want the wrong team winning. A Dallas/GB game would get bigger ratings hence the digraceful non call. Once the announcement is made – that should be it. How else would a veteran ref like Morrelli allow it??

  6. The referees made a good pass interference call and then reversed the call which ended Detroit’s drive and cost them a play off win, they should be fined by the league.I am tired of seeing so many teams lose games because of bad officiating.

  7. Very confused by the call 8 min to go in Detroit dallas game. This was a game changer, referees are to be a minor part of the game not the decision makers for the out come.
    As a high school ref for over 30 years I am embarrassed by the referee reversing the call.

  8. I will be very interested to see what the explanation from the NFL office will be on the changed defensive p.I. Thought the original call was correct.

  9. They also missed Bryant coming onto field without his helmet on to celebrate that play theat should have been another 15 yard penalty and Lions should have had the ball on the Dallas 14 yard line

  10. Pass interfererance is the call and Des Bryant running on the field without a helmet is another call. The ball should be on the 14 yard line . I hope the officials get fined for blowing both calls on that play. It effected the out come of the game.

  11. What a bunch of crap, those of you who support this are disciples of jerry jones, and the people he paid off!!! It is obvious that the NFL does not want anything to do with the Detroit Lions, what a dissapointment, they out played the cowboys the whole game and got screwed, good luck america’s team, you suck

  12. unbelievable ,no time in 45 yrs have i seen a pass interference. defense call, reversed by a guy who owns the cowb(989) 832-0838oys. a no call maybe. an oversight but; not a reversal. the nfl has no excuse . soon many will see this is a business, not a sporting event. to bad the luons arent ” americas team@$!@$##;!@$?

  13. Does anyone see a coorelation between Ray rice with his girl friend and the Lions with the referee crew. Maybe Goodall should ban the referee crew from football indefinitely!

  14. Santa made one last stop, in Dallas.
    Belated Merry Christmas jerry
    Hope the same ref crew is at Green Bay and Americas team can sweep the nfc north division.

  15. Amen to Mark’s final comment in the live blog. As a fan of officiating, and even more so of Pete Morelli himself, the one controversy with the back judge’s decision, whether right or wrong, will tarnish Morelli, as he was the referee and the head of the crew. Mistakes happen, but people shouldn’t be shooting the messenger, Morelli in this case. The game was officiated very well and this one error invalidated it all for most fans. We as officiating fans, I hope, see it differently.

  16. If the leahu wanted to stop the obvious mistakes by the officials, the league would hold the officials accountable by making them get in front of a microphone after the game and explain the calls.

  17. The press pool answer is helpful but it sounds as if the referee is still trying to defend the call. I would also like to know how much the Cowboys bench was in the HL’s ear before the conference. I believe the play was right in front of the Dallas bench. The other question that the reporter should ask is: “Why did the guy throw the flag if he was not in good position to make the call?” The more I think about the explanation, the worse it is. One official coming in to say that the contact that one official was enough for a penalty wasn’t all that bad sounds bad every time it happens. (Also, I thought there was defensive holding earlier in the play. If I am right, that makes the pickup even worse.)

  18. NFL has to keep billion dollar stadium full an referees run down the rabbit hole an hide…..its all about $$$

  19. Unfortunately, it is situations like the phantom pass interference penalty in this game that cause fans not to trust that NFL officiating is entirely on the up and up. Even if you don’t believe in the conspiracy theories, I think most fans suspect, with some significant justification based on experience, that if the same call had been made against almost any other team in a different stadium the flag would not have been picked up. But resisting the protests of the screaming fans and players (including Dez Bryant who was allowed to run onto the field without his helmet to yell in a ref’s face) of the NFL’s and the networks’ favorite team to make a tough, but correct, call that could have doomed their playoff chances was more than this crew could apparently handle.

    So, instead, they did something that none of the longtime football fans I’ve talked to has ever seen: negated the the penalty after it was announced, gave no explanation for their decision to pick up the flag and ignore the infraction, and decisively changed the course of the game in favor of the home team.

  20. NFL Ref Explains Why Lions-Cowboys Penalty Call Was Mysteriously Reversed

    There was widespread confusion and anger when what appeared to be a clear pass interference penalty on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter was reversed, even after Morelli announced it over the public address system.

    No explanation was offered during the game, fueling the mystery.

    After the game, Morelli said the penalty was overruled because a second official (who didn’t throw the flag) with a better view felt that there wasn’t enough contact to call a penalty. This official determined that Hitchens was face-guarding (which is not a penalty in the NFL), not interfering with Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

    “The back judge threw his flag for defensive pass interference. We got other information from another official from a different angle that thought the contact was minimal and didn’t warrant pass interference,” he told the pool reporter after the game. “He thought it was face-guarding.”

    He asked what he saw on the play, Morelli said, ” It’s not my responsibility. I’m a hundred miles away.”

    Maybe the real reason was to make sure that Ndamukong Suh’s season is ended. It wouldn’t look too good seeing the stomper make it too far into the playoffs.

  21. Hey Ben Austro- how about banning that jackass Have I Got a Deal from the group?? Never has anything good to discuss or comment on….

  22. Remember the referee betting scandal in pro basketball. Only takes one call to change a game all the betting money.

  23. Did the headlinesman also have the responsibility to see/call the holding penalty on the same play by Hichens that the NFL acknowledged should have been called?

  24. Why dont you list the name of the official who threw the flag? Does anyone know of a site that does?

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