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December 23, 2012

Referee Walt Coleman explains the ruling of fumble in overtime

The Cowboys distributed quotes from referee Walt Coleman about the fumble in overtime that led to the Saints’ game-winning field goal. Marques Colston was ruled to have made a catch at the 24-yard line and then fumbled on a hit by Morris Claiborne.

The ball was recovered by Saints tight end Jimmy Graham at the 2-yard line. If the play had been ruled an incomplete pass, it would have been third down for the Saints at the Dallas 33-yard line.

Here are the quotes from Coleman:

On the catch:

“He had two feet down, had possession of the ball and turned upfield and got hit as his third step was coming down. He had possession and time enough to do something with the ball – a football move.”

 On if Colston has to tuck the ball away:

“He doesn’t have to tuck it. So long as he has possession of it and moving it from one hand to the other, he doesn’t have to tuck it away. He just has to have possession of the ball to be able to do something with it like a normal football act. But he doesn’t have to tuck it against his body.”

 On the Cowboys having similar play last week:

“If the second foot is not all the way down, then it is not a catch. But in this case, his third foot was down.”

On recovering a forward fumble:

“Well in the overtime, you play fourth-quarter rules, so the fumble rule doesn’t start until you get to the two-minute warning – as far as the forward-fumble rule where you would bring it back to the spot of the fumble.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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