The Giants caught a break, not a pass.
One of the biggest plays of Sunday’s 23-19 win against the Cowboys was a 10-yard “reception” by Dante Pettis on third-and-16 with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It set up Graham Gano for a 50-yard field goal that pushed the Giants’ lead to four points and forced the Cowboys to play for a touchdown instead of a field goal when the next drive reached the 7-yard line.
Except replays showed the television audience that Pettis — who also juggled a touchdown catch earlier in the game — trapped the ball against the turf. Had Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy thrown a challenge flag, the play might have been ruled an incomplete pass, forcing an unlikely 60-yard field-goal attempt, a fourth-and-long prayer or a punt.
So, why didn’t the Cowboys — with all three timeouts — ask for a review?
“Just felt it was too close,” McCarthy said. “Felt it was a bang-bang situation and the fact of the matter is we were in a tight game and the three timeouts was obviously of high value there. We just didn’t think there was enough information to overturn it.”
FOX rules guru Mike Pereira — a former NFL official — disagreed, saying during the broadcast, “No question in my mind that if Dallas would’ve challenged this it would have been reversed to an incomplete pass.”
The Giants weren’t too concerned. They didn’t rush special teams onto the field to beat the clock with Gano’s franchise-record-setting 30th straight field goal converted.
“We didn’t get anything from our guys up top looking at it from a different view indicating that it might be a challenge-able type play,” coach Joe Judge said. “Obviously if it was ruled incomplete, we may have played that situation a little bit differently. We wouldn’t have been in field-goal range at that point. We would’ve had to make a decision between going for it and probably punting.”
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