On a 3rd and 21 from their own 32, Dallas threw a deep sideline pass to Dez Bryant. Reggie Nelson broke up the play beautifully, hitting Bryant’s chest with his shoulder. Textbook. But, as is common in today’s NFL, out came the flag. First down Cowboys.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk made the great point that the referee that was right on top of it wasn’t the one that threw the flag:
One of the most frustrating aspects of the penalty is that the official who appeared to have the best view of the collision didn’t throw his flag. The flag came from another official farther away, and yet the official who was right on top of the play didn’t correct his colleague’s mistake.
Here’s what he means. Look at the official here. This is not the guy that threw the flag:
In fact it didn’t even come from the second closest referee, who was also right on top of the play. The two referees in position to make the play are circled in red below. Where did it come from then? It came from the back judge (circled in yellow), who was not only about 45 yards away from the play, but also on the run:
Rule of thumb guys… If you have wind up and crow hop to throw a flag, just keep it in your pocket. Awful.