Mike McCarthy Talks Rodney McLeod’s Controversial TD in Cowboys’ Loss to Eagles

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Dec 29, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defense pose for a photo after a fumble recovery against the New York Giants in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys offense was abysmal during Sunday’s 23-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but it may have lost an opportunity to win the game in the final minutes because of poor officiating.

Quarterback Ben DiNucci took a snap when an Eagles defender may have been offside and eventually fumbled on the play. It looked as if Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry may have been down when he recovered it, but the ball was knocked loose before Rodney McLeod scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown to all but clinch the win.

While Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t agree, NFL Officiating announced “Possession wasn’t established until Eagles safety Rodney McLeod gained possession and ran it back. There was no clear evidence that anyone possessed the ball prior to him, so the ruling on the field stands.”

McCarthy explained his point of view when he said, “In live action, I felt it was clearly offsides,” per Jori Epstein of USA Today. “That’s why the ball was snapped early.”

While it was a key play because Dallas was down six and at Philadelphia’s 21-yard line, its offense also failed to score a single touchdown all game.

DiNucci struggled in place of the injured Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton and went 21-of-40 for 180 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions while losing two fumbles. His stat line could have been worse, but multiple interceptions bounced off the hands of Eagles defenders at times.

The one play may have stood out, but the Dallas offense did not play a winning game.


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