Dallas’ general manager and owner claimed that Detroit’s attempt to mislead the Cowboys regarding eligibility undermines the goal of the regulation.
A peculiar set of circumstances surrounding the Detroit Lions’ attempt at a game-winning two-point convert made Saturday night’s matchup between the NFC North champion Lions and the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys one of the most exciting games in the NFL.
After repeated retries due to fouls for both sides, the Cowboys stopped Detroit’s third attempt at a two-point conversion to end the game with a 20-19 victory. Referee Brad Allen declared offensive tackle Dan Skipper eligible instead of the Lions’ preferred offensive lineman, Taylor Decker, who initially appeared to have caught the game-winning two-point conversion toss. Detroit was penalized for an ineligible player downfield and illegal touching.
Dallas Cowboys general manager and owner Jerry Jones remarked, “I can’t believe the convoluted way that we ended up winning that game,” on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. However, to put it this way, the defensive unit is expected to be aware of the eligibility of the receivers. You could get fuzzy for anything you do to clear that up.”
With 1:41 remaining and no timeout, the Lions offense, behind 20–13, marched 75 yards in nine plays over 1 minute and 18 seconds, highlighted by an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jared Goff to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
And then everything got crazy. After Goff’s pass to No. 68 offensive tackle Taylor Decker appeared to have secured the victory, Detroit went for two. But according to referee Brad Allen, Detroit reported tackle Dan Skipper, No. 70, as eligible before the play, as many offensive linemen approached Allen. As a result, the Lions were given a penalty for unlawful touching. Skipper did not speak to the official prior to the snap, he admitted after the game. Decker is seen conversing with Allen in the replay of Detroit entering the game prior to the first two-point conversion try, seemingly indicating that he is eligible.
Allen insisted that Decker never reported following the game in the pool report. After the penalty, Micah Parsons was cited for an infraction by the Cowboys for being offsides on the play where Dallas intercepted Goff on the second try. Dallas forced an incomplete pass to seal the victory at the end of the sequence.
Jones remarked, “I haven’t been a part of one like that,” following the game on Saturday. “I have three chances to die. A terrific game, however I’m not sure I can die four. Bravo, Detroit. As they did tonight, they fight you all the way, but I really like how our guys persevered and finished, just like Coach [McCarthy] says. Was incredibly happy of our men because, evidently, they forced us to play hard till the very end.”