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Cowboys controversial call: Did Michael Gallup deserve PI penalty that wiped out huge play?

Frank Schwab
·2 min read
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For a moment, the Dallas Cowboys seemed to have made the key play that they couldn’t find for most of their season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. Receiver Michael Gallup caught a long pass in the final minute and was tackled on the 19-yard line, well within field-goal range to tie the game.

But, as often happens in the NFL, there was a flag.

Gallup was called for offensive pass interference. Officials said he extended his arm to push off cornerback Jalen Ramsey before catching the pass.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy talks with line judge Mark Perlman during Sunday night's loss to the Rams. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy talks with line judge Mark Perlman during Sunday night's loss to the Rams. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The replay didn’t seem to show much more than standard hand fighting between a receiver and cornerback downfield. NBC’s crew was surprised it warranted a penalty.

“It’s always so hard to call that one,” NBC color analyst Cris Collinsworth said on the broadcast.

“You want to see a clear extend and separation, Cris,” said Terry McAuley, NBC’s officiating expert. “I think he has his arm out there, but I don’t see him forcibly push him off.”

“I agree,” Collinsworth said.

Instead of being well within field-goal range to tie a 20-17 game, Gallup’s 47-yard catch was called back. Two incompletions later, the Cowboys turned it over on downs and the Rams had the 20-17 win.

Like Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green’s push off earlier in the day that called back a potential winning score, a questionable call went against the offense in a key situation. The Cowboys had plenty of chances to win Sunday night, but they’ll wonder if they got a raw deal on a close call at the end.

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