Did Packers get away with holding on Aaron Rodgers' game-saving throw?

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You know the old saying: There’s holding on every play. It might be correct, but some plays mean more than others.

On the Green Bay Packers’ penultimate play of their 34-31 thriller of a victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers did what he does: delivers unbelievable plays when his team has to have them. Rodgers rolled out to his left and delivered a strike — on third-and-20, no less — to Jared Cook, who brilliantly toed the sideline and made the haul. The play was reviewed and it was insane how close Cook came to being out of bounds, but the man made a career-highlight catch.

One play later, the Packers ended it with a Mason Crosby field goal. They’ll be headed to Atlanta for the NFC championship game in what could be another terrific game.

But did the referees miss a pretty big hold on the play? Check out as Packers offensive guard T.J. Lang appears to hog-tie Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving on the play as Rodgers starts rolling to his right. Although Lang disengages quickly, we’ve seen plays like that called for a hold before with his arm around the neck of Irving.

At full speed, it’s hard to see the hold (it doesn’t last long) unless you’re looking right at Lang and Irving.

Holding can be a tough call in any circumstance when it’s not blatant, and especially on such a crucial play when more eyes might be drawn toward Rodgers and his impending magic. Even if Lang didn’t hold him, it’s not as if Irving was going to teleport across the field and take down Rodgers, but then again — as you all know — that doesn’t matter. Penalties “away from the play” get called in every game.

That said, the officials had a rancid game overall; there were bad calls (and non-calls) against both teams, including this super strange one from the first half that had fans and media alike leafing through their NFL Rulebooks. We’re not arguing that either team got it worse than the other, but Tony Corrente’s crew won’t be getting straight A’s for their performance on Sunday.

And this play in question was pretty darned important.

Aaron Rodgers delivered an insane throw late, but did the Packers get away with a hold? (AP)
Aaron Rodgers delivered an insane throw late, but did the Packers get away with a hold? (AP)

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!