ICYMI: Why Dez Bryant’s Catch Was Ruled Incomplete

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If you were like me Sunday you were taking advantage of the depleted January afternoon crowd at Universal Studios on a cool, overcast day. But it’s very likely you were not like me, considering literally every man in the country was watching football.

Not me. I was walking right onto every ride in the park: The Simpsons, Transformers, Despicable Me… Seriously, no lines. No waiting. At all.

The disadvantage? I missed nearly every minute of both NFL playoff games. 

Whether you saw the play or not — and even if you did you may still be incredibly confused — below is an explanation as to why Dez Bryant’s game-changing play during the Dallas-Green Bay contest was ruled an incomplete pass, even though it looked every bit a catch.

First, the play.

He made a great play, no? The ground caused the fumble — which would make the juggling at the end just that, a fumble. Right? Not an incomplete pass. So why in the hell was it overturned?

Here’s the explanation.

Dean Blandino, who is NFL head of officiating, then told reporters that, based on the rules, the referees made the correct call when they decided to overturn the Dallas receiver’s catch.

NBC Sports

Blandino said the rules in the NFL are clear about players going to the ground as they make a catch, and the rules were properly applied on Sunday.

“Is Bryant going to the ground to make the catch?” Blandino said on PFT Live. “It’s clear. He’s stumbling. . . . Then we have to look to see, does the ball touch the ground? Which it clearly did, and it came loose after it touched the ground. . . . The last part which was discussed is did he make a football move? . . . Looking at it, he didn’t.”

Blandino said Bryant lunging forward toward the goal line is not the kind of overt act a player needs to make in order to be seen as making a “football move.”

“There’s judgment involved in all of these plays,” Blandino said. “We felt it was indisputable that’s not what Bryant did. He was just trying to gain control of it.”

A football move? What consists of a ‘football move?’ Is reaching for the endzone after taking three steps with the ball not a football move?

Because of the over-turned play, the Cowboys failed to score and the Packers went on to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship with a 26-21 win.

What did we learn?

The rules need to change. That was a catch.

BTW, this opinion coming from a life-long 49ers fan.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. He is a 49ers fan. Yes, he is sad about Jim Harbaugh.