By Michael Burke – THE HOSTILE COWBOY
To overturn the call it has to be clear, because guess what? If the football did not touch the ground and Dez wasn’t down by contact, it isn’t a fumble. Dez rolled over and came up with the football in bounds in the endzone. You can’t point to the Calvin Johnson rule and show the football laying on the ground in the endzone, it was in Dez’s hands. If they cannot show the ball clearly on the ground, you know like the Randall Cobb play earlier in the game that they ruled was a catch despite the ball clearly being seen touching the ground, then they cannot overturn the call on the field. By their own rules they cannot do it, yet they did it, and continue to try and tell us they got the call right. It has to be clear that the Official on the field got the play wrong. No one in their right mind is going to tell me that it is clear that Official made the wrong call or we wouldn’t still be talking about the play.
That’s why this play is so controversial. I gotta be honest with you, it is one of the two dumbest rulings on a play that I have ever seen. The only one that compares to it in stupidity was made by replacement refs, on prime time TV, and led to the real referees getting a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and coming back to work. The NFL was so embarrassed by the replacement referees’ idiocy that they got the deal done that they didn’t think they needed.
What has the NFL done with regards to this play? Fixed it so that the interpretation is clear? No, all they did was re-word it so that it justifies Dean Blandino’s TV descriptions of the rule. They still won’t even address that it was wrong to overturn the call on the field because the evidence is not clear that there was no contact and that the ball touched the ground.
The rule doesn’t even matter if you want to know the truth. There was not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field, and if I were the Official who made the call of touchdown on that play I would not ever want to be on Steretore’s crew ever again. The only thing Steretore could possibly over rule was that Dez scored. If Dez was down by contact because he and Shields touched, it is Dallas’ ball on the one yard line. If Dez was not down by contact, then it is a touchdown because there is no clear evidence that it touched the ground and Dez recovered the loose ball in the endzone. Those are the only two logical calls for the Officials to make on the play. What did they do? They made the one illogical call they could make, and ever since three stooges have tried to justify it and they can’t.
They made the illogical one that contradicts their own rules, and now they are trying to save face. Ever heard “the ground cannot cause the fumble?” I guess it can if you are Dez Bryant. Oh wait, he did not complete the “process of a catch” while going to the ground. He only got his feet down three times, after no possible contact with the defender, had both hands on the ball, control of it so secure that he was able to take a hand away, and cradle it in the other hand, turn and dive for the goal line in an attempt to score, which is clearly a “move common to the game,” or a “football move,” and if the ball did come loose as must be claimed, recovered the ball in bounds.
I repeat a question I asked earlier. How many times does a receiver have to get their feet down in the process of a catch while going to the ground? Three wasn’t enough, and unfortunately the rule does not make it clear despite the rewrite to justify the wrong call being made. I think two is enough. Two feet in bounds and possession, it’s a catch. Body in bounds and possession, it’s a catch. See how simple the logic of it really is? We didn’t need all these months of evidence that Dean Blandino is stupid. Just my opinion or two cents, which to the NFL is probably all it is worth. I know this though, Sam Shields, the defender on the play says Dez made an incredible catch. So does anyone with a functioning brain who realizes there was never enough incontrovertible evidence to overturn the call in the first place, and in the second place it is clear as day that the man actually did catch the football. Period. Point. Blank.