ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones made it clear that his team’s 36-33 loss of overtime to the Las Vegas Raiders was not counting on the umpires.
But he also made it clear that he wasn’t happy they were influencing the game.
The Cowboys and Raiders were each penalized 14 times in Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game. The Cowboys got a franchise-record 166 yards from those penalties; the Raiders 110. In the third quarter, Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph and Raiders safety Roderic Teamer were ejected after a scuffle after a punt.
The final swing of the game came on a 33-yard pass interference penalty off Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown, who failed to turn for a deep pass thrown by Derek Carr on third-and-18 of the Las Vegas 43 that set up the game-winning field goal attempt.
“Well, this is probably going to be the most watched game other than the Super Bowl, and I hated that it came down to just throwing the ball up and getting your penalties to get your big plays,” Jones said. “And I think we were looking forward to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so proud of our team for the way we held on, held on and came back and played, but it’s frustrating for everyone, for everyone.” our fans at this particular moment, to have a game where you were quite unsure about where you would be with your basics, that is, whether those would be called or not. And they got phone calls too, so it’s just a bit off balance to play the game.”
But it wasn’t surprising.
During a pre-match meeting with Mike McCarthy, Jones said there was an expectation that it would be a high-finance match. The crew of Shawn Hochuli took part in the game and threw the fifth flags (153) and had the third-highest penalty yardage (1207) of the season.
“Twenty-eight sentences — I don’t really know what you want me to say,” McCarthy said. “Write what you want, I’m all for it.”
The Cowboys have been among the highest penalties in the league all season. They came in at No. 1 in the league after Thursday’s game with 91 for 816 yards. The Raiders are second with 89 for 785 yards.
“It was clearly frustrating,” McCarthy said. “The game was choppy from start to finish. Give credit to our guys for continuing to focus and compete. The numbers are absurd, get that for sure. But just like everything in this game, there are trends and patterns, and we anticipated be operated in this way in this game.
“But in the same breath, it’s the line you straddle. I don’t want our guys to slow down and slow down. We’ve already tried that and that didn’t help us overcoach the penalties a few weeks ago. We’re going to be on the balls of our feet and keep fighting. We really need to focus on our fundamentals and finish the game. We will look closely at it. We evaluate the penalties every week. We hand them out and it will be part of our fundamental emphasis as we prepare for the saints.”
Brown’s penalties were good for 91 yards. He is the third player since 2000 to be flagged four times for interference with a defensive pass in a single game, along with Trayvon Mullen and Xavien Howard.
Brown called it “one of those days”, although after a split in the second quarter he seemed to be looking for a flag on him from the officials funny.
“As a DB you definitely have to have a short memory, on to the next piece,” said Brown. “We’re in it until the end. Unfortunately that last penalty was crucial. We just have to keep fighting. We have no control over when the referee throws flags or not. We can’t argue with them because it doesn’t change anything.”
Micah Parsons was called up for a roughing-the-passer penalty when Carr appeared to fall on him.
“I think we should play football, not tag,” said the starting linebacker.
The Cowboys also had a potentially fumbled fumble to recover in the first half after Jayron Kearse appeared to poke the ball from tight end Darren Waller. The replay official determined the pass was incomplete and McCarthy was unable to fight.
“I was actually standing on the sidelines with my helmet off celebrating with my teammates,” said Kearse. “I have no control over the phone call they make. I have no control over that. We just keep playing football. To each his own. You can turn on the film and anyone who watches it can see what happened” I have the piece not seen. I only know from my point of view that I personally thought he was running with the ball. Like I said, it’s the referee we have tonight. We just have to live with it.”