Cowboys DeMarcus Lawrence on phantom tripping call that helped Patriots: 'bulls---'

Another week of the 2019 NFL regular season, another officiating issue. Well, multiple really.

We’ll focus on one for now.

Phantom tripping call

In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s New England Patriots-Dallas Cowboys game, with Dallas on offense, they were flagged for a phantom tripping call.

Trailing 13-9 at starting at their own 8 with 2:38 to play, the Cowboys were at their 35 on the first snap after the two-minute warning and facing third-and-1.

They picked up the first down on a short pass to Ezekiel Elliott, which gained 3 yards.


Travis Frederick was flagged for tripping New England linebacker Dont'a Hightower as he rushed Prescott; Hightower did fall down, helped by Zack Martin, but on replay it didn’t look like he was tripped. Watch for yourself:

The 10-yard penalty pushed Dallas back to third-and-11 instead of having the first down.

DeMarcus Lawrence: ‘Let them call bulls—-’

Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t mince words after the loss when he was asked about the non-penalty:

“I get tripped up every time, but it’s cool. I ain’t gonna sit here and cry about it. If the refs want to call bulls—-, let them call bulls—-,” Lawrence said. “It’s all about what we do. Everybody knows it was no such thing that a foot was thrown out or anybody was tripped.”

The tripping penalty wasn’t why Dallas lost — three plays later, on fourth-and-11, a Dak Prescott-to-Amari Cooper 20-yard completion was taken away as a non-catch on review, and being 2-of-13 on third down is a big negative — but it seems the NFL and its officials can’t go a week without a fairly obvious or significant misstep.

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