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Steratore explains decision to overturn Dez catch


Referee Gene Steratore made a season-determining decision on Sunday in the Cowboys-Packers game, overturning a catch by Dallas receiver Dez Bryant that would have put his team one yard away from retaking the lead. Afterwards, Steratore explained the decision that the catch was not a catch.

“Although the receiver is possessiong the football, he must maintain possession of that football throughout the entire process of the catch,” Steratore told a pool reporter after the game. “In our judgment, he maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game. We deemed that by our judgment to be the full process of the catch, and at the time he lands and the ball hits the ground, it comes loose as it hits the ground, which would make that incomplete; although he re-possesses it, it does not contact the ground when he reaches so the repossession is irrelevant because it was ruled an incomplete pass when we had the ball hit the ground.”

Asked whether Bryant was down (and the play over) when Bryant’s elbow hit the ground, Steratore said it doesn’t matter.

“When you’re still going through the process of the catch, elbows or knees or irrelevant, he must complete that entire process with the football, maintain possession throughout.”

Though not specifically asked whether the “indisputable visual evidence” standard was met, Steratore said it was clear both to him and to V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino in New York that the ball hit the ground.

“Yes, there were a couple of angles that show the ball actually hitting the ground and then the receiver losing possession of it as well,” Steratore said.

Blandino is scheduled to join PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio tomorrow at 12:18 p.m. ET to discuss this one in further details. And any potentially game-deciding calls from the Colts-Broncos game.