Dez really did catch it, fam. Three years after Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was involved in perhaps the most notorious “not a catch” reversal in NFL history, the league’s competition committee said it should have been a catch. Bryant seemed to make a big fourth-down catch in a playoff game at Lambeau Field, but it was reversed on review, sparking an outrage. This week the competition committee said it wants to rewrite the catch rule so catches like Bryant’s will count in the future. That and three bucks will get Cowboys fans a tall latte.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported that New York Giants owner John Mara said the competition committee agreed plays like Bryant’s catch and Calvin Johnson’s infamous non-catch at Chicago (they call it the “Calvin Johnson Rule” for a reason) should have been catches. The committee is trying to redefine the catch rule after yet another season of controversy with the rule.
“I think where we are unanimous [are] plays like the Dez Bryant play in Green Bay, going to the ground, the Calvin Johnson play from a couple of years ago,” Mara told ESPN. “I think all of us agree that those should be completions. So let’s write the language to make them completions.”
Ultimately, the competition committee agreeing that Bryant’s play should have been a catch should just make Dallas fans more upset. The Packers won that game and moved on to the NFC championship game. It’s not like they’re replaying the game with a better catch rule in place.
But Mara’s declaration is another sign that the catch rule as we know it will die. Once commissioner Roger Goodell admitted before the Super Bowl that the rule was bad, it was doomed. And it’s not like the NFL can go into the 2018 season with a rule that the competition committee now admits needs to be changed. One of the biggest moments of the 2017 season came when Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James had a potential game-winning touchdown against the New England Patriots reversed due to the catch rule. Hopefully that won’t happen again.
No matter what, Cowboys fans will talk about that ruling until the end of time. At least they finally know the NFL admits it should have been a catch.
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