The drama to start the game wasn’t drama at all as it turned out.
The Cowboys did defer after winning the coin toss, even though referee Walt Anderson announced the Cowboys had chosen to kickoff.
Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9 of the NFL rules book says game administration allows replay officials to consult with on field officials or conduct a replay review of game administration issues, according to Judy Batista of the NFL. It appears game officials consulted with the NFL’s supervisor of officiating, Al Riveron, during halftime to clear up coin-toss gate.
Dallas kicked off to start the game and received the ball to start the second half. They added a field goal on the drive to increase their lead to 31-7.
Confusion reigned after Anderson twice asked Dak Prescott whether he wanted to kickoff and then announced the Cowboys would kickoff. Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Cowboys would kickoff twice, adding to the uncertainty of the situation.
The official play by play said the Cowboys had deferred.
Prescott can be heard on the audio saying, “We defer to the second half” before saying the Cowboys would kickoff.
A team has three choices when it wins the coin toss: It can defer to the second half; it can choose a direction to kickoff; or it can choose to receive.