With his team trailing 26-21 in the waning minutes of the NFC divisional playoff against the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made a leaping, potentially game-saving catch on fourth-down. Until he didn't.
The initial ruling on the field - that Bryant caught the ball - was overturned when referees ruled he did not maintain possession of the ball all the way through the play. Dallas then forfeited the ball on downs and never got it back.
The NFL rules state in order for a catch to be complete, the player "must maintain control of the ball long enough...to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.)"
When told of this rule, Bryant expressed confusion, then begged for it to be removed from the rulebook, the New York Daily News reported.
Dez Bryant: "What am I supposed to do? I'm just reaching for the goal line. I don't understand." — Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) January 11, 2015
Told what the rule says, Bryant said "I'm begging them: Please, please, please take that rule out." — Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) January 11, 2015
...and then voiced his surprise once the call was overturned.
I by no means cheer for Dallas but I have no idea what or how thts not called a catch . Thts a joke — Odell Beckham Jr.(@OBJ_3) January 11, 2015
Check out the play below and decide for yourself whether or not Bryant made the catch. (h/t FanSided for the gif).
- Will Green