The NFL told the Detroit Lions on Tuesday that officials missed a critical hold on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on the Cowboys' game-winning touchdown drive during Sunday's Wild Card game, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
According to the report, the league admitted that Suh was held on a fourth-down conversion with six minutes remaining in the game and the Cowboys down 20-17. On the play, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo connected with tight end Jason Witten for a 21-yard completion, giving the Cowboys a fresh set of downs and setting up the game-winning touchdown.
The no-call came after a controversial decision to pick up a flag on Detroit's previous offensive drive, which stalled near midfield after a defensive pass interference flag against the Cowboys was picked up without explanation.
A source told Schefter that the subsequent no-call on fourth down was "even worse than the PI call/no call," which has been intensely scrutinized following the Cowboys' 24-20 victory.
Had a flag been thrown against the Cowboys for holding Suh, Dallas would have faced fourth-and-16 in their own territory, which probably would have caused the Cowboys to punt.
The Cowboys came back from a 20-7 third quarter deficit to defeat the Lions. Dallas will visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC divisional round.
- Stanley Kay