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Cowboys vs Giants referee report: How the officials could impact divisional game

Is there enough of a difference to be made in this one?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are gearing up for their next game, which happens to be a home stand against the struggling Giants. These are two teams in very different places right now, which is why the Cowboys are favored by a whopping 17 points. You wouldn’t think that the officiating crew would play much of a role in shaping such a game, but you never know.

Before we get into this week’s referees, though, let’s take a quick look at the Cowboys’ penalties on a week by week basis.

Cowboys Penalties Week by Week

Cowboys Penalties Penalty Yards Opponent Penalties Penalty Yards
Cowboys Penalties Penalty Yards Opponent Penalties Penalty Yards
at Giants 5 35 6 72
vs Jets 6 38 5 29
at Cardinals 13 107 8 69
vs Patriots 5 32 6 50
at 49ers 6 60 6 45
at Chargers 11 85 9 79
vs Rams 4 21 4 25
at Eagles 10 83 10 98
Total 60 461 54 467

For the second straight week, the Cowboys were penalized just as much as their opponent. That’s now six of eight games where the difference in penalties between the Cowboys and their opponent has either been even or off by one penalty. And while the Cowboys - who are tied for the third most penalties on the year - have received six more flags than their opponents, they’ve actually had six fewer penalty yards in total.

There’s a very real chance for that trend to shift this week, as the Cowboys draw the officiating crew of Brad Rogers.

Rogers is in his fifth season as a head referee and seventh total season as an NFL official. A Texas native, he began officiating Texas high school football games all the way back in the early 90’s. He eventually graduated to college football, working on multiple officiating crews in both the Conference USA and SEC before jumping to the NFL. He’s also a professor at Texas Tech during the work week.

In addition to calling this game in his home state (though Arlington and Lubbock aren’t exactly sister cities), Rogers figures to be a good draw for the Cowboys this week. Rogers is calling the sixth most penalties so far this year, but he has a penchant for being a little more strict on the road teams. The only time in his career that Rogers’ crew has finished the year with more penalties on the home team was his second season as a head referee.

So far this year, Rogers’ crew has called six more penalties on the road team, with the road team being more penalized in five of his eight games this year. Rogers’ discrepancy between home and road penalty totals isn’t nearly as disparate as other crews, and it’s rare for one of his games to be wildly lopsided in the penalty department, but there is a clear home-field advantage that his crew still affords to teams.

As far as the types of penalties Rogers’ crew calls most often, there aren’t really that many strong trends to notice. Rogers’ crew will call just about anything, but there’s not necessarily a type of penalty they call more often than others. Rogers does lead the league in offensive holding calls, but not by a particularly wide margin, as those and false starts are the most commonly called penalties among all crews.

The one area that jumps out is that Rogers leads the league in offensive pass interference penalties, having called seven so far this year. His crew has led the league in this category two other seasons as well. Still, these types of penalties are so rare that it’s not exactly something to expect in every game.

While Rogers and his crew definitely call things a little more tight for the road team, that hasn’t translated to a real home-field advantage in the end. The home team is just 32-35 in games that Rogers calls for his career. Interestingly, though, Rogers has developed a trend of seeing the favored team win at a very high rate: 47-20 in his games. This year, the favored team is 6-2 in Rogers’ games, and the home team is also 6-2 this year.

Since becoming a head referee, Rogers has called six Cowboys games, and Dallas is 4-2 in those games. They have yet to lose at home with Rogers calling a game, and they’ve never been the more penalized team when playing at home with Rogers. All three home wins have come in the Mike McCarthy era, which featured two lopsided wins over the Eagles in 2021 and the Bears in 2022, as well as the thrilling comeback win over the Falcons in 2020.

Rogers has a knack for granting a tad bit more leniency to the home team, and the favored team wins more often than not when his crew calls a game. Rogers’ crew isn’t afraid to throw the flag either way, but there’s not necessarily specific penalties they watch out for. All of this bodes very well for the Cowboys this week as heavy favorites at home.

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