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November 19, 2012

Was it an incomplete pass or a fumble? It depends on which team you ask

On the Cowboys' game-winning drive in overtime, Tony Romo hit Miles Austin before Browns defensive back Sheldon Brown punched the ball out. Cleveland picked up the loose ball, but officials ruled it an incomplete pass. The play is not reviewable, though the Browns called a timeout to make sure replay officials had enough time to view it.

"I pretty much knew it was not reviewable in those overtime situations that it's happening from the booth," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "I just used my timeout to give them a little more time to discuss, but basically when they call it an incomplete pass, then it ends up being not reviewable. I wanted to make sure they had time to get it all right, because the way I saw it, I think I saw it a little bit differently."

Austin said he wasn't worried about the play being overturned, even as it appeared briefly that the play might be reviewed as referee Ed Hoculi walked toward the hood.

"Whatever’s going to happen is whatever is going to happen," Austin said. "To concern yourself about what someone else is going to determine happened is kind of irrelevant."

So did Austin feel like he had possession of the ball and had made a "football move," which is the definition of a catch?

"I felt like I was gaining control of it, and he kind of got the ball out," Austin said. "I felt like things happen so fast, who knows how you feel."

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean


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Austin caught the ball..took five steps..OK two actually..got hit and fumbled. Looked like a fumble to me and I'm a Cowboys fan.

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