Nfl Playoff Referee Assignments 2014 Gmc

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The Dallas Cowboys play the Oakland Raiders Sunday night. It is the first Cowboys game Gene Steratore will call since the infamous #DezCaughtIt game of the 2014 playoffs. Here's a look back at Dez Bryant's catch that wasn't:

Even two years later, the NFL's definition of a catch remains murky.

"Since that play, I don't believe they've been able to say it in a way that any of us understands yet," Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan's Shan & RJ show before the 2016 matchup between Dallas and Green Bay. The Cowboys, behind a record-breaking performance from rookie QB Dak Prescott, beat the Packers 30-16 on Oct. 16 at Lambeau Field.

Jones also said Bryant's overturned catch on that January day in 2015 "knocked the credibility out from under the way we judge what's a catch and what's not."

Here's a look back at some of the fallout from Dez's infamous no-catch in Green Bay:

Immediate reaction

The non-catch, followed by a late game Aaron Rodgers touchdown drive, ended the Cowboys' playoff run following a DeMarco Murray-led year of wins in 2014.

"I just can't believe it," Bryant said after the game. "I've never seen anything like that. I've never, ever seen nothing like that in my life.

"Clearly, it's a catch. There's no question; I want to know why it wasn't a catch."

NFL referee Gene Steratore said Bryant didn't "complete the entire process with the football" to deem the ruling as a catch.

"Although [Bryant] is possessing the football, he must maintain possession throughout the entire process of the catch," Steratore said. "In our judgment, he maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game. At the time he lands, the ball hits the ground, it comes loose, which would make that incomplete."

Jones said he was "surprised," and the call was a shame."

SportsDay columnist Tim Cowlishaw weighed in the day of the game as well:

"It looked like a catch," Cowlishaw wrote. "That was true for innocent bystanders and neutral observers, and it was painfully true for Dallas fans.

"But the Cowboys are the team without a leg to stand on when it comes to sympathy for overturned officials' calls. And yet it appeared Dez Bryant had gotten one, two, maybe three legs down to put Dallas in position to knock off the Packers right here in Lambeau Field, the site of the Cowboys' most painful playoff defeat."

Here's more on what an NFL Competition Committee member said following the non-catch and what else lost the Cowboys the 2014 playoff game vs. the Packers.

The following offseason, 2015 campaign

In 2015, the Cowboys and Dez Bryant were at it again - another trip to Lambeau, another Dez Bryant catch controversy. Backup QB Matt Cassel found Dez for 28 yards in the second quarter before the play was reversed.

Bryant said before playing the Packers in 2015 that the catch still haunts him. People walk up to him at the grocery store to say "I'm sorry to bother you, but it was a catch!" And social media never lets the play go. Bryant, however, tried to.

"I got that catch behind me," Bryant said. "There's nothing I can do. Why dwell on it? You can't dwell on something that you can't change. It is what it is. I'm going to go out there and work hard and try my best. That's all I can do."

Cowboys OC Scott Linehan said he struggled with the ref's take on Dez's catch.

"It's just hard to say that those great plays that were made weren't great plays," he said.

Here's more on what exactly is a catch in the NFL - and how the rule has changed since the 2014 playoff debacle.


This season, the talks continued. Cowboys GM/owner Jerry Jones continued to shed doubt ahead of the Cowboys' October trip to Lambeau. One fan showed off mad respect for Dez's catch: 

And the NFL tweaked its catch definition to further explain what a "football move" is, since players need to make one after catching the ball for a catch to be, well, a catch. Dean Blandino, the NFL's VP of Officiating, answered what Cowboys fans were wondering.

"Still not a catch," Blandino said of Dez's 2014 move.

To catch the ball, a player must secure control of the ball, touch the ground inbounds with any part of his body other than his hands, and maintain control of the ball after the two - then holding it "long enough to clearly become a runner." How long is that?

"A player has the ball long enough to become a runner," the rules say, "when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps."

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The referee who said Dez didn't catch it is calling Cowboys-Raiders 

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Here are the times and dates for the NFL 2017–18 postseason. All times are Eastern. Referee assignments will be posted when available.

Wild Card Playoffs

Crews | Coverage

Saturday, Jan. 6

  • ⁵Titans at ⁴Chiefs, 4:35 p.m. ESPNABC — Jeff Triplette
  • ⁶Falcons at ³Rams, 8:15 p.m. NBC — Ed Hochuli

Sunday, Jan. 7

  • ⁶Bills at ³Jaguars, 1:05 p.m. CBS — John Hussey
  • ⁵Panthers at ⁴Saints, 4:40 p.m. Fox — Tony Corrente

Divisional Playoffs

Crews | Coverage

Saturday, Jan. 13

  • ⁶Falcons at ¹Eagles, 4:35 p.m. NBC — Bill Vinovich
  • ⁵Titans at ¹Patriots, 8:15 p.m. CBS — Ron Torbert

Sunday, Jan. 14

  • ³Jaguars at ²Steelers, 1:05 p.m. CBS — Brad Allen
  • ⁴Saints at ²Vikings, 4:40 p.m. FOX — Gene Steratore

Conference Championships

Crews | Coverage

Sunday, Jan. 21

  • ³Jaguars at ¹Patriots, 3:05 p.m. CBS — Clete Blakeman
  • ²Vikings at ¹Eagles, 6:40 p.m. Fox — Ed Hochuli

Super Bowl LII

Sunday, Feb. 4

*designated home team

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