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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Dan Campbell explains what referees told him about 2-point conversion penalty

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions appeared to get screwed by the officials during their 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Lions head coach Dan Campbell revealed after the game what he was told happened.

The Lions scored a touchdown with 23 seconds left to make it 20-19 Dallas. Detroit attempted a 2-point conversion on a tackle eligible play. They faked a handoff and the play worked perfectly; left tackle Taylor Decker was open in the end zone and caught a pass from Jared Goff to seemingly give Detroit the lead.

But the officials threw a delayed flag on Decker for illegal touching because they said he failed to report as eligible (more here).

Videos later emerged showing both Decker and No. 70 Dan Skipper (the extra lineman) approaching official Brad Allen before the play.

Campbell said after the game that was told Skipper reported as eligible and also that two players cannot report as eligible.

“[Skipper] reported, [Decker] didn’t, that was the explanation,” Campbell said.

Campbell also said he prepared the officials before the game by telling them about his plan to utilize the play. Despite that, he said the officials still got it wrong.

What went wrong? From a replay, it appears as if official Allen was looking at Skipper as No. 70 ran onto the field and thought Skipper was reporting as eligible. Allen then appeared to go inform the Cowboys that No. 70 was eligible, just at the same time that Decker was trying to communicate with Allen.

Football Zebras says it would have been Decker’s responsibility to ensure the officials recognized him as reporting.

Whether or not Decker attempted to report to the officials, it seems like Allen never realized or acknowledged it.

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