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NFL Officiating Head Says The Cowboys Got Away With At Least One Penalty

Illustration for article titled NFL Officiating Head Says The Cowboys Got Away With At Least One Penalty

Dean Blandino, the NFL's VP of officiating, made the media rounds today to discuss the controversial reversed pass-interference call that occurred in a crucial spot of Dallas's win over Detroit. Blandino didn't come down strongly on either side of whether Anthony Hitchens interfered with Brandon Pettigrew.


A "close call that could have went either way," Blandino declared on PFT Live. And on Around The NFL, Blandino said,

"I certainly could have supported it if they left the flag down. I would have supported the foul. But I think it's a close judgment call where you have two officials with differing opinions on it."


He did criticize the officiating crew's lack of communication, which led them to announce the penalty and mark off the yardage before changing course, and said that once they threw the flag, "I'd prefer that they kept it down."

Blandino was less forgiving of the other potential penalties on that play: Hitchens indisputably grabbing Pettigrew's jersey, and Dez Bryant storming out onto the field to argue the premature flag.


So if you're scoring at home, that's anywhere from one to three different penalties that could have been called on the Cowboys.

As for the Lions getting away with anything, Blandino said he wouldn't have supported a flag on Pettigrew for putting his hand on Hitchens's facemask—"minimal contact," he called it. Oh, and because the PFT folks would have been remiss had they failed to ask:



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