A controversial overturned catch in the playoffs cost WR Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
After a controversial call on a catch by Cowboys WR Dez Bryant sent the Green Bay Packers to the NFC Championship Game several weeks ago, the CB who covered Bryant on the play now says it was a legal catch.
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Packers CB Sam Shields, who at the time said the referees made the right call by overturning the catch after the ball squirted out of Dez Bryant’s hands as he fell to the ground, told ESPN that he believes that Bryant did, in fact, catch the ball and was surprised that the Packers got the call overturned after head coach Mike McCarthy challenged the play.
“It was a catch,” Shields said in an interview with ESPN Dallas, “But the new rule and at the last minute what happened, that’s what the refs came up with. I never said he didn’t catch it. He made a helluva catch I was in great coverage. Like I said, it was good on good and he came up with the catch.”
The NFL rules state that Bryant was required to make a football move to secure the ball in order for it to constitute a catch, but instead the ball came out of Bryant’s hands as he was trying to reach the ball into the endzone. In other terms, Bryant did not maintain the ball throughout the process of making the catch, therefore, the pass was incomplete.
The play occurred on a 4th-down play, and as a result the Cowboys turned it over on downs, giving the ball back to the Green Bay Packers who ran out the clock and sealed their spot in the NFC Championship game.