NFL agrees: Megatron made catch; Dez Bryant, too
Indianapolis — The NFL competition committee is now acknowledging something Dallas Cowboys have known all along: Dez caught it.
New York Giants owner John Mara told ESPN on Tuesday that Bryant’s “no catch” in the Cowboys’ 2014 playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers will likely be ruled a catch in the future.
He said the competition committee has reached a “unanimous” agreement that Bryant’s play should have been ruled complete as well as that of former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in 2010 against the Bears.
The competition committee is conducting meetings prior to the NFL Scouting Combine in the Indianapolis in hopes of changing the rule for the 2018 season.
“I think where we are unanimous,” Mara told ESPN on Tuesday, “(are) plays like the Dez Bryant play in Green Bay, going to the ground, the Calvin Johnson play from a couple of years ago. I think all of us agree that those should be completions. So let’s write the language to make them completions.”
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, also a member of the competition committee, said a final approval of the new rule won’t happen until the spring owners meeting next month.
Trailing 19-14 with a little more than 30 seconds remaining, Johnson made a leaping 25-yard catch on a pass thrown by Shaun Hill. Johnson landed with both feet in bounds, but lost control of the ball as he hit the ground, using the ball to brace his fall. The touchdown was overturned, and the Lions lost, because Johnson wasn’t able to “complete the process,” officials ruled.
Bryant’s play was initially ruled as a catch on the field, but was controversially overturned on replay because he allegedly didn’t hold the ball throughout the process of going to the ground.
Bryant caught the ball, switched hands and took two steps before reaching for the end zone. The ball popped up as he hit the ground and Bryant secured it. It was then overturned.
Cowboys fans long believe they would have won the game if the play hadn’t been overturned, sending Dallas to the NFC title game for the first time since 1995.