The ending of the Dallas Cowboys-Detroit Lions wild-card game Sunday was shrouded in controversy for what many fans thought was a bad non-call on pass interference. The non-call helped seal the 24-20 Cowboys win.
But upon further review and plenty of criticism, the NFL head of officials, Dean Blandino, told NBC's Sports Radio's "Pro Football Talk Live" on Monday that while the non-call on pass interference was arguable, Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens should have been flagged for holding Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
"That’s holding," Blandino said. "I mean there’s no two ways about it that that’s a jersey grab, that’s a point of emphasis, that’s a foul for holding that could have been called...a jersey grab like that before the ball is thrown, it is defensive holding. I think had somebody seen it then they should have called it and it obviously wasn’t recognized on the field but that’s defensive holding."
Lions coach Jim Caldwell told ESPN that acceptance of the non-call was "hard to swallow."
"I do think, in this day and age, modern times where we have technology that can take out the human factor in certain key situations, in big games, that we should use that technology to do so," Caldwell said. "Kind of set the record straight and take the human error out of it. So perhaps, from this endeavor, we'll find a way to maybe improve that portion of the game."
The Cowboys will visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in an NFC divisional playoff battle Sunday.
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(Photo: CSM /Landov)