Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, meets with all 32 teams in the league during the offseason. But this offseason, he made sure to have “lengthy discussions” with the Dallas Cowboys, whose season came to an end on a controversial call in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Since the officials in Green Bay decided on review that Dez Bryant did not complete the catch near the goal line on that 4th-and-2, Blandino has spent a fair portion of his time defending the call. He did so further in his meetings with the Cowboys this offseason.
“They may not agree with the call, but it was always positive,” Blandino said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “‘Hey, look let’s get to some common ground as to what are we going to teach our players. How can we be consistent?’ And, so, they’ve been great throughout the entire process.”
The controversy surrounding the ruling led the the league’s Competition Committee revisiting the rule this offseason, but all that was changed, really, was the language of the rule.
“The message to the coaches and players--because we’ve gone out and visited with every staff--is if you’re falling to the ground to make the catch, then you have to maintain the control when you land,” Blandino said. “And if you reach or do anything with the football, that’s not going to trump that requirement to maintain control.”