May 26, 2024

The conclusion of the Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys game was tainted by controversy when a successful go-ahead two-point conversion was negated due to an illegal touching penalty. The penalty was imposed on offensive lineman Taylor Decker, who had seemingly informed the referee of his eligible status before the play. Many observers viewed this as a clear and significant officiating error.

In contrast, ESPN officiating expert John Parry offered a different perspective in an interview with Scott Van Pelt after the game. Parry attributed the blame to the player, stating unequivocally, “Absolutely. It is on the player.” Despite Decker’s intentional effort to notify referee Brad Allen of his eligibility, Parry characterized it as a miscommunication.

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Parry emphasized the unique nature of the play and argued that Decker should have been more assertive in getting Allen’s attention. He suggested that Decker bears some responsibility for not realizing that the referee was not focused on him.

According to Parry, “We would want the player to get to him much stronger than he does in this case. Brad is not looking at No. 68 – he’s looking at No. 70. [Decker] also owns a little bit of this in recognizing ‘Hey’ Brad Allen’s not looking at me. I need to make sure Brad knows.”

Scott Van Pelt acknowledged the frustration on the Detroit side but questioned the extent to which a player should draw attention to their eligibility, suggesting that Decker shouldn’t be overly conspicuous in doing so.

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