It’s unanimous: Dez caught it.
Three years after the fact, the NFL has finally admitted the league botched Dez Bryant’s controversial “catch” in the Cowboys’ divisional game against the Packers in the 2014 playoffs.
Giants owner and NFL competition committee member John Mara revealed Tuesday the committee has reached a “unanimous” agreement that controversial plays involving Bryant in the 2014 playoffs and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in 2010 both should have been ruled a catch. Mara said the committee is looking to rewrite the catch rule for the 2018 season.
“I think where we are unanimous,” Mara told ESPN on Tuesday, “[are] plays like the Dez Bryant play in Green Bay, going to the ground, [and] the Calvin Johnson play from a couple of years ago. I think all of us agree that those should be completions. So let’s write the language to make them completions.”
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In a divisional round matchup against the Packers, Bryant had appeared to make a spectacular 31-yard catch on fourth down to put the Cowboys at the Packers’ one-yard line with a chance for the go-ahead score. Upon review, officials, however, overturned the call, ruling that Bryand did not maintain control of the ball all the way to the ground. The Cowboys ended up losing the game, 26-21.
Roger Goodell instructed the committee to study the issue after yet another controversial incompletion ruling against Steelers tight end Jesse James this past season. In addition to James, Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had two catches controversially overturned on review — one being ruled a fumble out of the end zone and another ruled incomplete.
Mara said the committee hopes to have a proposal ready for league meetings March 25-28.
“We’re going to try,” Mara told ESPN. “It’s easy to say the rule has got to be changed, but coming up with the right language is a challenge.”
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