FOXBORO -- The Cowboys offense played poorly in Sunday's Week 12 matchup against the New England Patriots at a rainy Gillette Stadium, and yet Dallas still had an excellent chance to win the game with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys got the ball back at their own 8-yard line with 2:38 remaining after forcing a Patriots punt. The fourth play of the drive included the most controversial call in the game.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed a pass to running back Ezekiel Elliott for a 3-yard gain and a first down at the Dallas 38-yard line. The first down was negated, however, because of a tripping penalty on Cowboys center Travis Frederick, who was trying to block Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
Here's a look at the play:
This is the exact opposite of a tripping. He moved out of the way to avoid tripping the defender. This BS has to stop. Please NFL. Stop this. pic.twitter.com/J8Lt0RBKls— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) November 25, 2019
Incomplete passes on the next two plays resulted in a turnover on downs by the Cowboys, who lost 13-9 as the Patriots extended their home win streak to 21 games.
"I don't believe so, no," Frederick said at his locker when asked if he thought he committed that tripping penalty. "Obviously, that's not my call to make."
Did a lot of questionable calls go against the Cowboys?
"It's hard to say, honestly," Frederick said. "I think it's unfair, for us as players, who are emotionally invested in the game, to talk about the referees. We'll leave that up to somebody else."
One of the most passionate reactions to the two tripping penalties called on the Cowboys came from defensive star Demarcus Lawrence. WARNING: the following tweet has NSFW language.
Demarcus Lawrence also called the two tripping penalties “bullshit.”— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 25, 2019
Did the Cowboys lose because of Frederick's tripping penalty? It certainly made their challenge against the NFL's best defense a lot tougher, but they didn't deserve to win. Dallas made too many silly mistakes, especially on special teams and third downs, and you cannot do that against the best-coached and most well-prepared team in the league.
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