While today’s Cowboys-Lions game should be remembered for the actual football, it’s a penalty non-call that is getting much of the postgame attention. After this controversial play was initially ruled pass interference and announced to the crowd by referee Pete Morelli, officials got together, talked it over, and decided to pick up the flag:
When the Cowboys went on to win the game, the Lions were certainly irked about the refs’ sudden change of heart. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said the explanation he got was “not good enough,” and Lions’ tight end Brandon Pettigrew (who was the one interfered with) called the decision to change the call “ridiculous.”
Morelli, however, has said that the call on the field ended up being the correct one. “The back judge threw his flag for defensive pass interference,” he said after the game in a pool report. “We got other information from another official from a different angle that thought the contact was minimal and didn't warrant pass interference. He thought it was face guarding.”
He then added “The information came and then the officials got together a little bit later after it was given to me, the first information. It probably would've been smoother if we got together.”
While this is probably not the end of the discussion about the call, at least we now have some semblance of an explanation.
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