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The Cowboys Can’t Escape The Inconsistencies Of The Catch Rule

With no game for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the attention would shift to all the other games going on in week six. But it would be one play from one game that would catch the attention of Cowboys Nation.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Just let it go, they say. Get over it. Well, that would be easier to do if fans weren't constantly reminded of it. On Sunday, a controversial play stirred up some old memories.

On a third and two from the Chicago Bears 12-yard line, Matthew Stafford would hit Golden Tate on a slant play in the end zone. Tate appeared to have caught the ball, but then had it stripped out by Bears corner, Kyle Fuller, popping in the air where Bears linebacker, Jonathan Anderson, caught it. It was initially ruled an interception, but then was reversed after it was reviewed.

This shocked a lot of people, particularly many Cowboys fans who still have a controversial call of their own lingering in their memory. In last year's NFC Divisional game, Dez Bryant was ruled to have not caught a critical fourth down pass near the goal line. Dez appeared to have caught it, but as he was stumbling towards the end zone, he fell down and the ball touched the ground. It was ruled an incomplete pass.

This was a tough pill to swallow, but the NFL explained the ruling and made it clear that if you are falling towards the ground when catching the ball, then you must maintain possession and the ball cannot touch the ground in the process. Fine. We get it. It may not be a rule people like, but it's the rule. And fans have done their best to try to forget this, but then something like this happens.

The NFL officials would attempt to explain themselves by saying Tate had control of the ball, had both feet down, and did enough to establish himself as a runner.

Wait, what?

Tate had the ball for two and a half steps. Dez had the ball for longer than that.

And if you watch closely, after Tate loses the ball he then falls to the ground. If Tate didn't have the ball stripped from him but instead it came loose when he fell to the ground, would it then have been ruled incomplete? That wouldn't make sense. Being in the end zone doesn't change the completion rules. You still should have to maintain possession throughout the catch.

I just don't get it. Does this make any sense to you?


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