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November 18, 2009

NFL says Cowboys would have lost challenge

Mike Pereira, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said Wednesday the Cowboys would have lost a challenge on Tony Romo’s fumble if the play could have been challenged.

In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, Romo had the ball knocked out of his hands by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson. Felix Jones covered, and, while he was lying on the ground, Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly pulled the ball free from Jones’ hands. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews eventually recovered at the Dallas 3.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips challenged the play, but, by rule, fumble recoveries in the field of play are not reviewable.

On his weekly review on the NFL Network, Pereira said Jones had to maintain control of the ball for it to be deemed a recovery.

“If you’re going to the ground, it’s a process, and you’ve got to hold onto it throughout the whole process,” Pereira said. “…If it comes out at all during that process, it’s ruled still a fumble if you’re trying to recovery a fumble.

“If this was actually reviewable, still in my mind, [it] would not have changed.”

Pereira verified that the Packers should have been penalized 15 yards for attempting a third challenge they didn’t have. Pereira said officials now will inform a coach face-to-face when a team is out of challenges.

"These types of administrative things should never happen," Pereira said.

-- Charean Williams



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I'm sorry but this is cr*p. The head of officiating is just trying to cover his officials collective rears. Anybody who's seen that play can see that Jones was clearly down in full possession of the ball when he's touched by a defender. He was on the ground a good two or three seconds before they even attempted to rip it out of his hands. He was actually laying still on the ground with both hands around the ball. There's no doubt about this. There's no excuse for a call (or non-call) like this. They simply missed it. Fess up.

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