A picture of Green Bay Packers right guard T.J. Lang committing what appears to be an obvious holding penalty against Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving on the last play from scrimmage of Sunday’s NFC divisional game has gone viral.
It has stirred the pot for Cowboys fans who feel the officials blew a penalty on arguably the most critical play of the game.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rolled out of the pocket and had time to find tight end Jared Cook down the sideline for a 36-yard completion. That play set up a game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby in the final seconds.
Irving agreed he was held on the play, but wasn’t going to blame that for the Cowboys’ 34-31 season-ending loss.
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“Looking at the pictures, yeah [I was held],” Irving said. “During the game, I didn’t even notice. There was so much adrenaline. I just thought I fell or something, you know? It doesn’t matter, though. We could’ve done plenty of things to prevent that situation, so it doesn’t matter.”
Irving said that play felt like it lasted “30-35 seconds” as Rodgers extended it. In reality, it took nine seconds.
The Cowboys’ D-line didn’t generate much pressure on Rodgers most of the game. The three times the Cowboys sacked Rodgers were courtesy of defensive backs – safeties Barry Church and Jeff Heath and cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
“We didn’t get enough,” Irving said of the pass rush. “We didn’t do anything the whole game.”
But Irving, like the rest of the team, is excited about the future. He’s an exclusive rights free agent, meaning the Cowboys have him under team control for 2017, although they could explore the possibility of signing him to a longer term deal this offseason.
“We put in a lot of work this year, but it wasn’t enough,” Irving said. “It’s different from college and high school. It’s a totally different level. A level you probably didn’t even think you could compete on until you’re in here and living it every day. It’s tough work, man, but it’s worth it.
“I’d rather be hurt putting in all that extra work than feel this again. We’re going to work for it.”