Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones shot down any conspiracy theories as to why his team is getting fewer holding calls than opponents.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence made headlines with a rant ripping officials after Sunday’s game, pointing out how few of times opposing offensive linemen and tight ends are called for holds compared to the Cowboys. In the last 10 games, Cowboys offensive linemen and tight ends have been called for holding 18 times compared to just two for the opposing team.
Jones weighed in on the matter during his radio show Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan.
“I will say this, I think that you can call holding on any play,” Jones said. “Our officiating is coached where we want the emphasis on holding. I dare not think that it’s biased. I know that it’s not biased. I really have to think that.
“But, with having said that, it does seem as though lately they’ve gone against us more than they’ve gone for us. Let’s see how this goes. You can see I’m being very careful with not stepping out of bounds here.”
Lawrence used some colorful language to express his displeasure and could be in line for a fine from the league.
“The refs are out there for nothing so we just came out and did our job,” said Lawrence, who ranks second in the league with 13 1/2 sacks. “I didn’t see a holding call in the last five games and it’s ridiculous that the refs are out here just looking at me getting tackled by offensive linemen. It’s like, ‘C’mon, if you’re going to be out here, do your job.’
“I have a family to come home to. If you’re trying protect quarterbacks, you’ve got to protect me too. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it on both sides. If you’re going to call some BS on my O-line, you got to call on their O-line too.”
Lawrence appears to have no regrets for his strong words.
On his Twitter account, @TankLawrence, he wrote: “Film don’t lie!!!!!#SorryNotSorry.”
The previous post on his Twitter account was a similar rant by Steelers safety Mike Mitchell.
Even though Lawrence is in the midst of a career year, he and the rest of the pass rushers have been slowed of late. The Cowboys haven’t recorded a sack in three of their last four games.
They didn’t sack Giants quarterback Eli Manning once on Sunday even though Manning threw it 46 times.
Lawrence has just three sacks in the last six games after starting the season with 10 1/2 in the first seven.
Coach Jason Garrett attempted to downplay Lawrence’s rant, saying he hadn’t seen it during his Monday news conference.
“It’s not something that I really want to talk about, other than to say we always have good dialogue with the league on things that we have issues about,” Garrett said. “They do a great job allowing us to communicate with them. On this issue and other issues, we try to communicate with them and maybe get to the bottom of it. But it’s our job to coach and play, it’s their job to officiate.”