Another great look at how one possibly botched call did not determine the outcome of the game.
Pro Football Reference uses a mathematical model to map win probability for both teams in any game. By a strict percentage, the overturned pass interference call improved the Cowboys' chances of winning by approximately 10 percent (or roughly 12 percentage points from the advantage the Lions would have had if they had been given the benefit of the pass interference call). On Sunday, there were seven plays that gave the Cowboys a greater momentum swing than the blown call.
Obvious and conclusive proof that John Mara's evil tentacles do not extend to the NFL referees.
The Cowboys were penalized $5 million of cap space in 2012 and $5 million in 2013 for front-loading contracts during the uncapped 2010 season. If the league plays favorites with their most popular franchise, why not give them a pass in that situation?
Jones made that argument Tuesday morning when answering questions about the controversial pass interference call that was overturned during the Cowboys' 24-20 wild-card win over Detroit on Sunday.
Matthew Stafford was mic'd up during the Wild Card game. It is an interesting case study. By the way, have you ever noticed how Tony Romo always goes over to the bench when he comes off the field and grabs his tablet to start discussing things with the coaches, no matter what? Just thought I'd mention that.
"Can we explain that or no?" Stafford asks. "Just flat out overturning a pass interference call?" An official then mentions face guarding to Stafford, and the quarterback responds: "I understand, but your man saw it and threw a penalty.... I understand that... But I've never in the history seen one turned over. Congratulations, man. First time in history that's happened."
Stafford later, standing on the sideline in the aftermath of the confusion, started yelling, "Hooome cookin!"
The Jason Garrett effect.
"I don't know. I'm just trying to do my job," Hitchens said. "I don't make the calls. I'm just trying to get focused on Green Bay."
The continuing furor over the bad call is not the only story that seems to be going on and on for no real reason.
The governor of New Jersey is a lifelong Cowboys fan, and has been present in Jerry Jones' suite for the past several wins. The team's owner does display an odd sense of qualification for higher office.
"He's part of our mojo," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "I want him there all the way. I'll tell you, if he's got enough mojo to pull this thing out, he ought to be looked at as president of the United States."
Even the high temple of American journalism, as it exists today, is caught up in this nonsense. But, as a Cowboys fan, if you did not have a little bit of appreciation for Christie, this exchange after the Cowboys' victory over a certain division rival might change your mind.
A few minutes later, a local businessman expressed shock that Mr. Christie had high-fived Mr. Jones.
"Why does it matter who I root for?" a bewildered Mr. Christie asked.
"Because you're the governor," the man replied.
"That doesn't matter," Mr. Christie said.
"There are a lot of Eagles fans in Central Jersey," the businessman said.
"Good. Good for them," Mr. Christie said. "Have a party."
Well, of course. This is 'merica.
OK, we'll try to focus on football now.
The quarterback explained his decision making on the throw, where Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant were just a couple of feet apart in the end zone.
"I saw Terrance as he was sprinting across and I was a little late," he said. "I thought I was going to throw in the back to Dez and in that process Terrance just stops abruptly.
"Right when I was about to throw it to Dez, I see that and change the arm angle to throw it to Terrance at the last moment. It is a credit to him to just keep moving and then all of a sudden find the open spot. Not everyone just does that. Not every receiver has the ability to keep moving.
"He is almost a quarterback when he is moving and it is a special quality that he has."
Bob Sturm dissects the 4th and 6 play, plus all the key third down conversions the Cowboys made. And this is also a major point.
Jermey Parnell has been fantastic. What If I told you that the Cowboys would have to go with a backup right tackle for 6 starts this season? How many sacks would he be responsible for would you predict? 0 is the answer. What about his run blocking? He might actually be better there. I appreciate Doug Free's 2013 and 2014, but the Parnell performance as the one place on this offense that has been really affected by injury has been very impressive (even though it hardly is mentioned anywhere). As far as I am concerned, you can consider that a place where either guy (perhaps the one with the lesser contract requirement) could be your RT in 2015 as both are free agents.
Bryan Broaddus looks at every sack, plus some good stuff as well.
I see why Tony Romo was excited in his post-game interview when he was describing the fourth down throw that he made to Jason Witten. In typical Witten fashion, he knew exactly where Lions safety James Ihedigbo was playing him. Like we have seen hundreds of times before, he was able to make a slight nod to the outside, then cut hard back to the inside, leaving Ihedigbo out of position to the outside and making it a simple pitch and catch for Romo to grab that all important first down.
Our own Dawn Macelli took a look at Cole Beasley earlier. Jason Garrett has this interesting take on him (and may have birthed a new nickname).
"He's quick, he's fast, he's explosive and he's strong," Garrett said. "He's a sneaky guy cause when he walks in, he looks like the paper boy. He does. He's like, ‘Hey, give me my $3.85 for the last seven days.' He's something else. He just has a knack about him and I think people do underappreciate how physically talented he is."
Well, of course it is.
Some news about the upcoming game.
Apparently, this writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel defines "respected" as "holds slightly in awe".
His eyes widen and then Micah Hyde explains why Dez Bryant is unlike any wide receiver the Green Bay Packers have faced.
"Have you seen him on tape?" the Packers defensive back asks. "Have you seen him on film? He's a good receiver, man. He's aggressive. He can block. He can catch. He can run past you. He can make you miss. He can do it all.
"There's only a few guys in the league like that, that can do that any given play."
Gee, good thing nobody went after Aaron Rodgers' calf in the last game of the season, huh?
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, dealing with an injured left calf, will be examined by Packers physician Dr. Patrick McKenzie on Wednesday. The Packers expect Rodgers to be cleared for at least limited participation in practice on Thursday, the most important day of the week for the offense.
The man is a leader, a fantastic player, and pretty smart about what and what not to say.
Romo got his NFL start under Bill Parcells. The Hall of Fame coach liked to tell his players not to eat the cheese, which is another way of saying don't buy into the hype that surrounds an individual performance or a game.
Can Romo at least nibble on the cheese and admit Sunday's game against Green Bay, only 150 miles from his childhood home, will be special?
"It will be special playing in the second round of the playoffs,'' Romo said. "Anybody would be great.
"Playing against Green Bay will be another great game.''
While the Cowboys have league leader DeMarco Murray, the Packers have a pretty good running back themselves in Eddie Lacy. They took a very different approach with him than Dallas did with Murray this season.
Lacy has had about three fewer plays per game this season, and he comes into the playoffs on the upswing. In the final seven games, Lacy ran for more than 100 yards twice and averaged 5.2 yards on 127 carries.
Quick summary: Cowboys number one, Packers four.
Headline gives this one away.
Finally, this is just for those who thought Dallas ever being good again might be one of the signs of the coming Apocalypse.