Why was the Lions’ two-point try vs. Cowboys

Why was the Lions’ two-point try vs. Cowboys originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It’s only the second game of Week 17, but one play will be the headliner for what’s still to come.

The Detroit Lions lost 20-19 at the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, with an overturned two-point conversion dominating headlines.

After a late Jared Goff touchdown to Amon-Ra St. Brown with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Lions head coach Dan Campbell called for a gutsy two-point call. It worked, as offensive lineman Taylor Decker hauled in the pass from Goff.

But it was chalked off due to illegal touching on Decker. Let’s attempt to break it all down:

1. Before the play, Decker, who wears No. 68 and was sent by Goff, walked over to head referee Brad Allen along with fellow lineman Dan Skipper, who wears No. 70 and runs to the referee after Decker was already there, to report the play to be considered an eligible receiver. And because the referees said it was No. 70 who reported and not No. 68, the formation on the play was also illegal. If the numbers had been swapped as the Lions claimed, the play would’ve stood (Josh Reynolds, who was next to Decker, stood off the ball and was properly aligned).

2. After the flag, Allen told Campbell that it was No. 70 who reported, not No. 68. Campbell said in his post-game presser that he went over the play to the officials before the game “to a tee.”

3. Skipper said after the game he did not report to the referees, while Decker said he did. Decker also said it was his understanding Campbell explained the play before the game.

4. Goff after the game said Skipper did not report while Decker did. Goff also said it wasn’t a fix by the referees, but still a mess up.

5. According to the pool report that Allen did after the game with Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning News, Allen stuck to saying it was No. 70 who reported, not No. 68.

In summary, the Lions claimed to have went over the play to the referees before the game and executed it properly, hence the Decker catch. But because of the referees saying it was a different lineman who reported, the score did not count.

Allen was also part of the crew that missed a blatant defensive pass interference call in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs in their 27-19 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 3.

Both the Lions and Cowboys are now at 11-5 after the result. Had the two-point conversion been given, the Cowboys would’ve trailed 21-20 with 23 seconds on the clock. Of course, it will not be known how that situation would’ve played out.

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