Down
enlarge
Referee explains non-call from Lions-Cowboys game
0:58 | NFL
Referee explains non-call from Lions-Cowboys game
Monday January 5th, 2015

Speaking after a Dallas playoff win secured in part by a controversial pass interference call, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated support for expanding replay review rules to include pass interference, according to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com.

Jones said he felt the decision was the right one, but added that including pass interference as call reviewable by replay was a logical step.

"I've never seen one get that far into the next play...and have it reversed, but I think that's a good thing," Jones said. "If we're going to stop action and we're going to have replay and we're going to have interpretation from New York – which I'm all for – and we're going to do all that, then we might as well get 'em all right. And, again, I think they made the right call in terms of not calling it."

Wild-card rally doesn't spell relief for Romo

The call in question came at the halfway point of the fourth quarter, when a deep pass from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to tight end Brandon Pettigrew was broken up by linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who was flagged for pass interference on the play.

Referee Pete Morelli announced the call, but changed his announcement to no penalty moments later. Facing fourth down without the first down the call would have given them, the Lions punted. Dallas scored the game-winning touchdown on the next possession.

Morelli said after the game that the head linesman overruled the back judge's flag, believing that Hitchens had been face-guarding Pettigrew, which is legal in the NFL. Morelli conceded that the officiating crew should have waited to make the final call.

Mike Pereira, Fox Sports rules analyst, disagreed with the call, saying that not only did Hitchens commit interference on the play, but that he was also guilty of defensive holding.

NFL owners voted earlier this year to allow referees to consult with league officials in New York on replay reviews, but stopped short of expanding replay to pass interference calls.

2014-15 NFL playoff schedule

The Cowboys defeated the Lions, 24-20, and will play at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

- Christopher Woody

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.