Neither team left Thursday’s game happy with the officiating. Tony Corrente’s crew called 10 penalties on the Cowboys for 78 yards and eight for 57 on the Vikings.
The Cowboys had a 43-yard Ezekiel Elliott run wiped out by a Doug Free hold in the first quarter. An Anthony Hitchens interception was taken away by an illegal use of hands on Orlando Scandrick. An Elliott hold erased an 11-yard pass to Jason Witten on third-and-eight, and ended up halting Witten’s consecutive catch streak at 130 games.
“They were inconsistent with their calls, and that was frustrating,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan when asked whether Free held. “I thought what was obscene was the Scandrick hands to the face that caused that moving of the chains there. It’s almost impossible to get a score in when you set yourself back like that with those errors.”
Jones added that, “You just can’t have those penalties offset your big plays, and we did. We were making those errors, and that will beat you. And that, plus turnovers, for this team to overcome, the untimely penalties against our best plays, as well as to have the turnovers we’ve had, then I am pretty impressed. And you look back on it, our big plays that we did make that counted that they kept out on the field, well, that was the difference.”
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The Vikings were upset with two hits on quarterback Sam Bradford that didn’t draw flags. DeMarcus Lawrence and Maliek Collins sandwiched Bradford late in the first half, and the Vikings argued it was an illegal hit that forced the quarterback out of the game the final two plays of the half.
The Vikings fumed about the non-call on the 2-point try when it appeared Cedric Thornton hit Bradford’s facemask, which is an illegal hit on a quarterback. Bradford threw his hands to the sky in exasperation after the play.
“I’m just going to say it right now: I’m sick and tired of the reffing in the league right now,” Robison, a University of Texas alum, said. “I’m sick and tired of it. You got holding calls all over the place that people don’t want to call. Bradford gets hit in the face at the end of the game and you don’t call it. I’m not laying this loss on reffing, but at some point it’s got to get better. The problem is the costly penalties that don’t get called.”