The Dez Bryant Catch That Was Ruled a Drop


When is a catch by Dez Bryant actually a drop? To call this weekend’s Divisional Round playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers wild is an understatement. Ultimately the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 thanks to two late touchdowns by Aaron Rodgers. But lost in Mr. Discount Double Check’s amazing performance was one of the worst calls in recent NFL history. Dallas trailed by five in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. Facing a 4th-and-2, Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo took a shot deep to =wide receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant seemed to come down with a remarkable touchdown catch along the sideline, but it was challenged by Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy. Referee Gene Steratore overturned the call after a lengthy review. The Cowboys turned the ball over on downs and the Packers advanced.

The Most Controversial Call Ever

F&TS are unabashed New York Giants fans with no love for America’s Team. But even we have to admit the Cowboys got screwed. Bryant made the catch, secured the ball, and made a football move. We thought the ground could not cause a fumble. However according to the NFL’s complicated new-age definition of a ‘catch,’ Bryant did not control the ball all the way through hitting the ground. The exact rule states,

If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass, he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground.

The head of NFL officiated explained the Bryant ruling on Twitter last night. Even with the explanation, we have to ask, is this the worst call in modern NFL history. Let’s look at some other possibilities.

Calvin Johnson versus The Chicago Bears (2010)

The rule Dean Blandino explained in his tweet was most recently made famous by Calvin Johnson‘s touchdown-turned-incompletion against the Chicago Bears in 2010. We disagreed with the call then and still do today. By the way, this is a catch, no matter what the NFL says.

The Tuck Rule

If you’re too young to remember this game, the infamous Tuck Rule game involved the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders. Thanks to a late Tom Brady fumble being overturned because of an obscure rule, the Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders to advance to the 2002 AFC Championship Game. As you can barely see in the video, Raiders’ safety Charles Woodson sacked Tom Brady and caused an apparent fumble. You can also see Brady recoiled on his initial attempt at a pass. His arm was not coming forward and therefore it was a fumble and not a forward pass. The Raiders should have won the playoff game.


These are three of the most notorious bad calls in recent NFL history. Was the Dez Bryant catch drop the worst call of all time? Let us know in the comment section.