NFL tells Cowboys game-altering tripping penalty should not have been called


The NFL reviewed the tape, and determined DeMarcus Lawrence was right. While the NFL didn’t use as colorful terms as Lawrence, the league agreed that the phantom tripping call that doomed the Dallas Cowboys against the New England Patriots on Sunday should not have been called, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic.

The penalty occurred with just under 2 minutes to play. The Cowboys were trailing 13-9, and were trying to mount a last-minute game-winning touchdown drive. Dallas managed to convert a huge 3rd and 1 on their own 35-yard line, but the play was called back due to a tripping penalty.

The Cowboys couldn’t convert on the next two plays, turning the ball over to the Patriots. New England was able to run the clock down to just 1 second. Dallas couldn’t score on its final play, giving the Patriots the win.

Following the contest, Lawrence went off on the refs, saying the call was “bulls---.”

It wasn’t the only tripping penalty called against the Cowboys during the contest. With 3:01 left in the first quarter, the Cowboys were called for tripping. A few plays later, the Patriots blocked a punt, setting up the team’s only touchdown of the game.

Upon review, the NFL informed the Cowboys that the tripping penalty should not have been called either.

At 6-5, the Cowboys still lead the NFC East. But the loss still could have a major impact on the team the rest of the way. The Philadelphia Eagles sit just a game back, and the two teams still have to play each other one more time.

The phantom tripping penalties may not have destroyed the Cowboys’ playoff chances, but the remainder of the regular season is going to be much more stressful because of those calls.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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