NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino defends overturning Bryant catch

Monday January 12th, 2015

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino stood by the decision to overturn a fourth-down catch made by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during Sunday's playoff game against the Green Bay Packers

Speaking on ProFootballTalk Live, Blandino said overturning the catch was the right call and that NFL rules are clear.

"Is Bryant going to the ground to make the catch?" Blandino said. "It’s clear. He’s stumbling ... Then we have to look to see, does the ball touch the ground? Which it clearly did, and it came loose after it touched the ground ... The last part which was discussed is did he make a football move? ... Looking at it, he didn’t."

MMQB: Dez controversy puts catch rule in spotlight

After Bryant's catch was initially ruled a completion, the Packers challenged the call and won. Green Bay then took over on downs with under five minutes to play and went on to win the game, 26-21. 

NFL rules state the ground can cause an incomplete pass. It was ruled Bryant did not stretch out enough toward the endzone, and therefore did not commit a "football move."

Blandino tweeted the following in the moments after the decision was made, amid heavy social media criticism of the call:

• ​MMQB: If it looks like a catch, it should be a catch

Blandino did say on PFT Live that a mistake was made in connection with the play clock. Since the catch was later ruled an incomplete pass, the clock should have been reset to that moment. However it never was, and some time elapsed between the catch and when Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged it. - Molly Geary


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