Tuesday, September 16, 2008
DeSean Jackson made arguably the biggest bonehead play in football history by celebrating a touchdown before he actually crossed the goal line, but to me something is being lost in all of this mess. The play was by rule effected by the same exact call by the officials and same exact NFL replay rules.
On Sunday the Chargers got boned by Eddie Muscles. Cutler's attempted pass obviously went backwards and Eddie Muscles just missed the call and blew the play dead. As we all know the killer was blowing the play dead, by doing so the Chargers were not rewarded with the possession which they so obviously achieved after the miscue. In last nights game Desean Jackson blatantly released the ball a yard or more in front of the goal line yet the play was called a touchdown on the field and dead. Meanwhile, two Cowboys swarmed by the ball but never picked it up. Had the play not been called dead it's quite obvious that with two members of the Cowboys Secondary trailing Jackson that the Star-Helmeteers would have recovered the ball. Yet, again one day later the team that deserved the ball was not rewarded it. Instead the fumbling squad was given the ball in prime field position.
In the end the play last night will go down as a boneheaded maneuver and the Cowboys getting screwed is going to be completely overlooked. Everyone is saying well the Eagles deserved to score there so it was just that Westbrook scored on the next play. In my opinion Jackson got away with complete stupidity and the Eagles did not deserve to score because of it. Either way, the Cowboys went on to win the game so the Touchdown in the grand scheme of things was irrelevant. Meanwhile, the Chargers screwing came in the final seconds where more attention is paid and after 3 failures on defense fell to 0-2 and 2 games back in the division.
Obviously, Eddie Muscles had an easier play to call than last nights officiating crew (what official can keep up with Jackson) and obviously the screwed party lost in one game and won in the other but the play had the same blown call. A backwards pass in which the team who deserved to pick it up was punished by the whistle. I don't have the perfect solution for these mistakes, but to me its the replay rule that is as flawed as was the officiating. I don't know whether either making all loose balls live or giving the official a discretionary decision on whom would recover the ball is a optimal solution but either would be better than punishing the team that should have just benefited from forcing a turnover.