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NFL rules Dwayne Harris hit on Nolan Carroll during Eagles-Cowboys game legal


Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN Dallas, the Dallas Cowboys were informed by the NFL that the officials made a mistake by throwing a penalty on Dwayne Harris during a punt return late in the Eagles-Cowboys game. Harris was penalized for unnecessary roughness after blind-siding Carroll with a big hit. Watch the play below:

The play occurred with 5:04 left in the game. The Cowboys trailed the Eagles by a score of 33-10 and had no timeouts remaining. In other words, the game was effectively over. That's exactly why Eagles players, including Carroll II himself, weren't too thrilled by Harris' hit. The play caused a scrum to form before officials separated players from both sides.

By strict interpretation of the rulebook, it cannot be argued that the penalty was the right call. Harris hit would have been illegal if he signaled for a fair catch, which he didn't.

But common sense suggests that Harris was frustrated by his team's disappointing loss. Legal or not, it was a cheap hit considering the context of the game. Harris could have easily pushed Carroll II out of the way without having to take a huge shot like he did. It would have been a shame to see Carroll II suffer an injury there.

In the grand scheme of the game, the hit was irrelevant. The Eagles beat their division rivals with ease and now control the first place lead in the NFC East.


Note: I'm sure you will remember this isn't the first time the NFL has overruled a dirty play that took place on an Eagles player this season.

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