Redskins

Redskins

The results are in and Dez Bryant did, in fact, catch it. 

Three years ago, during the Cowboys' 2014 NFC playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, the argument about what exactly is a catch in the NFL began.

The refs ruled that wide receiver, Dez Bryant did not maintain possession throughout the process of going to the ground, eliminating what would have been an easy set up for a touchdown. Cowboys fans and many around the league disagreed with the call.

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According to New York Giants owner and NFL competition committee member, John Mara, the league reached a unanimous agreement that it should be ruled a completion in the future. They've also acknowledged that it's time to create a clear definition of what a catch is to prevent further confusion. 

The current definition states, "a player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete."

 

The issue of what exactly defines a catch these days in the NFL came to a head in 2017 during the Steelers' Week 15 games against the New England Patriots.

Down by three with 34 seconds left in the game, Jesse James caught what appeared to be a touchdown before refs overturned it saying he did not maintain possession and complete the process of a catch upon hitting the ground. They not only lost the game because of the call, but would eventually lose the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

The Jesse James play, I think should be a completion, Mara said, but I'm not sure we're unanimous on that. But plays where guys seem to make the catch and then make a football move with it, I think most of us agree those should be completions. Now it's just a question of coming up with the right language.

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 Commissioner Roger Goodell is in agreeance that a proper dialect needs to be written. The rule-change discussion typically happens March 25-28 at the annual owners meeting in Orlando, Florida. 

It's easy to say the rule has got to be changed, but coming up with the right language is a challenge.

At his annual "State of the Ravens" press conference, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti called the whole thing "stupid."

"I think sometimes things have to get really, really bad before there is change. I bet you that there is going to be a significant change in that. A football move? I mean, how you can catch the ball, get both feet down, turn towards the end zone and start diving for it, and they say it’s not a football move? No. It’s stupid.”