Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett believes the NFL failed itself and its fans when they didn’t change the Calvin Johnson rule, thus making plays such as receiver Dez Bryant’s overturned catch against the Green Bay Packers a catch in the future.
The NFL Competition Committee tweaked the language involved in the rule in Phoenix this week, but Bryant’s amazing catch is still a not a catch.
The new language says that a receiver must clearly establish himself as a runner while having control with both feet in bounds. Before it stated that a player had to make “a football move” while maintaining control of the ball.
The Cowboys continue to believe the Bryant made a football move with 4 minutes, 45 seconds to go in the 26-20 divisional playoff loss at Green Bay. He caught the ball, switched hands, took two steps and reached for the goal line in completing what would have been one an iconic playoff catch.
It was ruled a catch on the field, giving the Cowboys a first down at the 1-yard line, but was overturned on replay.
And that’s where Garrett thinks the NFL failed itself and it’s fans at the NFL owners meeting.
“I do think this play belongs in the game,” Garrett said. “I do think we want Calvin Johnson’s play and Dez Bryant’s play to be catches in our league. I do believe any tweaks to the rule should be to include these plays, not to exclude these plays.”
The stakes of the situation with the game being in Green Bay, pitting two of the league’s storied franchises against each other in a playoff matchup, while conjuring up images of the infamous Ice Bowl, only added to drama the league should want, according to Garrett.
“To have the Cowboys inside the 1-yard line at Lambeau Field with 4:45 to go 47 years after Bart Starr had a quarterback sneak is great for our game,” Garrett said. “To have Aaron Rodgers standing on the other sideline waiting for his opportunity to come back, that’s what we want. And Dez Bryant getting three feet and a forearm down I think should be a catch in in our league. I think we should find ways to make sure it is going forward. It has nothing to do with our game, our team, its about how to right the rule going forward.”
Garrett doesn’t blame the call for the Cowboys’ loss. He said they had plenty of time before and after the play to control their own destiny. He wants what is best for the NFL and having that play and plays like it legitimized is great for the game.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760