Report: NFL officiating crew that oversaw controversial Lions-Cowboys ending 'downgraded' for postseason

The same crew was involved a controversial no-call in a Week 13 game between the Chiefs and Packers

It appears there will be consequences for the officiating flub that marred Saturday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that referee Brad Allen's crew will be downgraded for the postseason.

"A large part of Brad Allen’s crew is not gonna be officiating in the postseason," Schefter reported. "They’re gonna get downgraded."

The Lions appeared to have a go-ahead 2-point conversion in the game's final minute Saturday when quarterback Jared Goff hit tackler Taylor Decker in the end zone for what would have been a 21-20 lead.

But officials threw multiple flags on the play, penalizing Decker as an ineligible receiver and tackle Dan Skipper for an illegal formation. The Lions eventually failed to convert an ensuing 2-point conversion attempt, and the Cowboys won 20-19 in an outcome with significant implications for the NFC playoff race.

Lions players and head coach Dan Campbell were furious. Video shows that Decker, Skipper and tackle Penei Sewell all approached Allen before the fateful overturned 2-point conversion.

Decker said postgame that he told Allen he was reporting as en eligible receiver. Skipper said that he didn't speak to Allen. If this was the case, then Decker was eligible and Skipper was lined up in a legal formation on the 2-point conversion, and neither flag should have been thrown.

But the officiating crew announced to the Cowboys that Skipper had reported as eligible, making a mess of the whole situation for both teams if Decker indeed had reported as eligible. There was no reason for the Cowboys to cover Decker on the play if he wasn't eligible.

Referee Brad Allen's crew oversaw controversy again on Saturday. (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Referee Brad Allen's crew oversaw controversy again on Saturday. (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In a postgame pool report, Allen insisted that Decker did not report as eligible.

“So, we had a situation where if you were going to have an ineligible number occupy an eligible position, you have to report that to the referee," Allen said. "On this particular play, No. 70 [Dan Skipper], who had reported during the game a couple of times, reported to me as eligible. Then he lined up at the tackle position. So, actually, he didn’t have to report at all. No. 68 [Taylor Decker], who ended up going downfield and touching the pass, did not report. Therefore, he is an ineligible touching a pass that goes beyond the line, which makes it a foul. So, the issue is, No. 70 did report, No. 68 did not.”

He also addressed the video showing both players approaching him.

“That conversation is where No. 70 reports to me, and I then go to the defensive team, and I say to them ‘No. 70 has reported as an eligible receiver,’ so they will be aware of who has reported and then I return to my position," Allen said. "That was the conversation with the defensive line.”

Not the first controversy involving Allen's crew

This, along with previous controversies, is impacting Allen's crew for the postseason, per Schefter. Allen's crew oversaw the missed pass interference at the end of Week 13's Green Bay Packers win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Packers cornerback Carrington Valentine interfered with Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a play that would have set Kansas City up inside the 5-yard line in the final minute while trailing 27-19. Officials didn't flag the penalty, and Green Bay went on to win the game.

Allen told reporters postgame that officials didn't see "material restriction that rose to the level of defensive pass interference."

Officiating crews will be mixed for the postseason. It wasn't clear from Schefter's report if Allen will work in the postseason, but part of his crew won't.