After a thorough review, the NFL has acknowledged an erroneous roughing the passer call that marred the Week 2 Jets-Cowboys showdown. The penalty in question was imposed during the second quarter when Jets‘ defensive end, John Franklin-Myers, was penalized for a late hit on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. The NFL has since admitted that this hit was entirely within the bounds of legality, and no penalty should have been assessed, as reported by Brian Costello of the New York Post.
The controversial call transpired on a pivotal third-and-7 situation, with the Cowboys positioned at the Jets’ 11-yard line. In response to Prescott’s throw, which ended in an incompletion, Franklin-Myers executed a tackle that, in the eyes of the officials, seemed untimely and thus warranted a penalty. Regrettably for the Jets, this misjudgment by the referees led to a first down for the Cowboys. Subsequently, the Cowboys capitalized on this opportunity by scoring a touchdown during that drive.
Despite the NFL’s admission of error, the extent to which this incorrect call affected the final outcome of the game remains debatable. The Cowboys ultimately emerged victorious with a score of 30-10. However, it is crucial to note that when this controversial call was made, the Jets were only trailing 10-7. Instead of potentially limiting the Cowboys to a field goal attempt, the Jets were burdened with an 18-7 halftime deficit, owing to the subsequent touchdown.
Jets’ head coach, Robert Saleh, expressed his frustration with the penalty during a media briefing held on Wednesday, just before the NFL conceded its mistake. Saleh remarked, “There’s nothing I can coach to make that different. He got pulled down. His face hit the hip above the knee, which is still legal. Everything about it was legal.”
The NFL’s acknowledgment of the error, while a step in the right direction, offers little solace to the Jets in hindsight. Had the officials correctly assessed the situation and limited the Cowboys to a field goal, it could have significantly impacted the momentum of the game in favor of New York. Furthermore, the Jets might have adopted a different strategy had they been faced with a mere six-point deficit rather than an 11-point margin as the game unfolded.
In conclusion, the NFL’s admission of the incorrect roughing the passer call in the Jets-Cowboys matchup underscores the significance of officiating accuracy in professional football. While the outcome of the game is final, this incident serves as a reminder of the critical role referees play in shaping the course of a match and its potential consequences for the teams involved.