Like most NFL fans, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted he doesn’t know what a catch is anymore.
Two years after the controversial catch/non-catch by Dez Bryant in the NFC divisional playoffs, the NFL has yet to put the definition of a catch in layman’s terms.
With the Cowboys returning to Lambeau Field on Sunday, the topic came up on Jones’ weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday.
“It knocked the credibility out from under the way we judge what’s a catch and what’s not,” Jones said. “Since that play, I don’t believe they’ve been able to say it in a way that any of us understands yet.”
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In that game, Bryant went up to catch the ball, took multiple steps and lunged toward the goal line. The ball popped out of Bryant’s grasp momentarily as he hit the turf, but it had been ruled a catch on the field.
Under review, it was overturned to an incompletion.
The NFL has tried to clarify the rule with a vague line about receivers transitioning into a “runner” and attempting to spell out specific rules on what happens when a player goes to the ground.
In the rule book, it states in part: “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent) he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
Make sense? Didn’t think so.
Just ask Jones or Bryant.
As far as Bryant’s status for Sunday’s game, Jones wouldn’t officially rule him out but said the team “won’t take any chances” in rushing Bryant back.
Bryant has missed the past two games with a hairline fracture in his right knee, and is expected to sit out a third straight week with the bye coming up next week.
“With the way he was running at the end of last week, he had some sensitivity or he would’ve played,” Jones said. “We’ll take a good look at it this week.”