The NFL’s catch rule has been in the news today. According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the NFL competition committee is working on changing it.
The NFL competition committee appears to have unanimous agreement that controversial catch rulings involving Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson should have been ruled complete, according to Giants owner John Mara. So the committee is working on changing the rule to relax the “going to the ground” requirement.
I’m not here to talk about my opinion on the changes, though. I’m here to talk about how a bunch of Cowboys fans are still whining about how “DEZ CAUGHT IT!”
And it’s not even just the fans! Look at this.
Give me a break.
Even if Dez did catch it — which he didn’t, according to the rules at the time — Dallas was still absolutely going to lose that game.
That’s always been the weirdest thing about “Dez caught it!” to me. People just assume it was an automatic win for the Cowboys if that was a catch.
For the sake of proving my point, let’s pretend Dez did catch it. How would things be different?
Well, the Cowboys would be at the 1-yard line with just over four minutes left in the game. The Packers would be ahead by a score of 26 to 21. Green Bay still had one timeout so they could stop the clock once if Dallas didn’t score a touchdown right away. The Pack also had the 2-minute warning on their side.
Let’s say the Cowboys do score a touchdown. At that point, they’re up 27 to 26 on the Packers and it’s obvious they have to go for a two-point. There’s no guarantee they get that. Even if they do, they’re only up three points: 29 to 26.
In that ideal circumstance for Dallas, there is probably still at least 1:30 on the clock for Rodgers to at least get the Packers into field goal range for overtime, if not a touchdown to win the whole thing.
At that point in the game, Rodgers was 22/33 for 278 yards (8.4 average), 3 TD, 0 INT, and a 123.0 passer rating. He was going up against a Cowboys defense that was getting shredded. Dallas allowed eight first downs, 16 points, and 236 yards on 25 offensive plays in the second half of that game prior to the Dez incident. That’s a whopping 9.4 yards per play.
At the very least, Rodgers was getting that game to overtime. More likely, he was going to win it for Green Bay.
I mean, Rodgers drove 43 yards with 0:35 remaining in regulation to set up a game-winning field goal against the Cowboys in the 2017 Divisional Round. Then he drove 75 yards with 1:13 remaining in regulation to score a touchdown and beat the Cowboys in Dallas this past season. History is certainly on Rodgers’ side.
And even if the Cowboys did somehow win that game in 2015, it was only the Divisional Round. They still would’ve had to go to Seattle to play the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. And from there, the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
But I guess I understand it. It’s been so long that the Cowboys have had any meaningful postseason success that they need to cling to what little they’ve got.
To better put the Cowboys’ failures into perspective, they only have two playoff wins since 1998. The Eagles won three playoff games in 2018 alone ... all with a backup quarterback starting.
Sure, it’s true the Cowboys have more Super Bowl titles than the Eagles. But how many people who point that out saw Dallas win even one of them?
Right now, all that matters is the Eagles are Super Bowl champions.
And the Cowboys are still crying about an inevitable playoff loss that happened three years ago.
UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention how the Cowboys were very fortunate to be aided by the refs to get to the Divisional Round in the first place.