Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was devastated when a catch he made through mid-air and attempted to land in the end zone was ruled incomplete during the team’s divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers in January.
But team owner Jerry Jones believes the catch was complete.
“Of course he caught the ball,” Jones told ESPN on Tuesday. “Dez knew he caught the ball.”
That’s not a surprising revelation by any means, but Jones’ tone was indicative of a serious yet good-natured comment.
Granted, it was a slightly different statement than that of Jones’ son, team vice president Stephen Jones, who recently conceded that the ruling of an incomplete catch was technically correct.
A couple of months after the controversial play, the NFL’s Competition Committee attempted to clarify the “process of the catch” rule stating that the receiver must “clearly establish himself as a runner” before hitting the ground.
This is where the problem lies, though: Management and even game officials clearly remain confused on a rule that is not consistently interpreted correctly.
The play Bryant made was brilliant and could have been a game-winning touchdown that would have sent the Cowboys to the NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks. Instead, Dallas’ season ended at Lambeau Field.
Unfortunately, Bryant’s almost catch won’t be the last one that leaves officials in a quandary, leading them to make a controversial ruling after spending several moments reviewing the replay.
Photo: USA Today Sports