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Fact Or Fiction: NFL Officiating Conspiracy Against Cowboys?

Brian Martin

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Believe it or not, there is a rumor going around Cowboys Nation that NFL officiating is purposely avoiding calling penalties against the Dallas Cowboys opponents these last few weeks. It's a little strange to think such a thing possible, but it's hard to argue against it after watching the Cowboys play the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon.

It's a little bit difficult to believe there is some kind of conspiracy going on in the NFL. But then again, it wouldn't be the first time conspiracy theorist stirred things up. I mean, look no further than the entire Colin Kaepernick situation and the rumors of collusion between NFL owners to keep him out of the league. Anything's possible I guess and there certainly seems to be enough ammunition in the barrel to believe the NFL might have it out for the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones are obviously on the outs with one another. Jerry Jones has recently hired a lawyer in an attempt to block Goodell's new contract, but this fight started long before this.

The NFL has seemed to have it out for the Dallas Cowboys ever since they started the investigation into Ezekiel Elliott's domestic violence accusation. A lot of people believed it was a witchhunt from the get-go since Elliott was acquitted because of lack of evidence after a police investigation, but for some reason the NFL decided to conduct their own investigation anyway.

This of course all spilled over into the on-again/off-again suspension situation that Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in currently. Who knows how this will all work out in the end, but this was the ammunition I was speaking about that has fueled the conspiracy theory fire.

I personally don't know if there's a conspiracy between the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. But, one thing is for sure. The NFL officiating has been absolutely terrible in the Cowboys games the last few weeks and it has definitely benefited their opponents. But, don't take my word for it. Let's take a look at a little bit of evidence from the Cowboys/Falcons game.

QB Dak Prescoott

Nov 12, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY

I want you to take a good long look at the picture above and try to explain to me why a photographer from the sideline can take a picture like this, but an NFL official standing a few yards away misses the facemask/hands to the face penalty? It doesn't really seem possible they can miss a blatant penalty like this, especially with the focus on protecting quarterbacks.

That of course was just one of many missed penalties that should've been called on the Atlanta Falcons. Let's take a look at a few more, because the conspiracy theory doesn't look that far off base.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

One of these was called roughing the passer. Another one was not. https://t.co/MvtR8wDOKY

This is yet another example of the NFL officials missing an obvious penalty against the Atlanta Falcons. The officials could've called a roughing the passer penalty, a helmet to helmet hit, or even a launching penalty. They could've gone any direction they wanted here, but instead they failed to unleash the flag. Strange isn't it?

The missed penalties not called on the hits on Dak Prescott should have absolutely been seen by the officials, but the hit on Dez Bryant should have been seen as well and flagged.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

This was somehow not a foul. Don't tell me your league cares about safety, @NFL https://t.co/eCkFRnyxa2

I don't know how this wasn't flagged by the back judge. This is the definition of a hit on a defenseless player and this wasn't the only time it happened in Sunday's game. The Falcons secondary was extremely aggressive and there were a few other instances where they completely laid out the Cowboys WRs like they did Bryant in the clip above.

I want to show you one more example that feeds into the conspiracy theory that the NFL officials have it out for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

HOW DO REFS MISS THIS https://t.co/IUzhYTdW3p

Dak Prescott wasn't the only Dallas Cowboys player who failed to get a facemask penalty recognized by the officiating Sunday afternoon. I honestly don't know how they didn't see Alfred Morris get his head and helmet twisted by a Falcons player pulling his facemask. It looks pretty obvious to me, but I wasn't wearing a zebra suit.

Now, I don't know if there is some kind of conspiracy going on or not, but it is blatantly obvious that the NFL officiating has been absolutely terrible when the Dallas Cowboys take the field. It's hard to argue there isn't some kind of conspiracy, but I'll let you decide for yourself.

I do know one thing though. It's going to be really tough for the Dallas Cowboys to win games when they have to beat their opponent and the officials week in and week out.

Do you think there is a conspiracy against the Dallas Cowboys?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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25 Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

    Blaming losses on the refs is a time-honored tradition. Cowboy fans are especially good at it.

    • Brian Martin

      Who is blaming the loss on the refs? I was merely stating all of the missed penalties on the Falcons. The same thing happen against the Chiefs, but the Cowboys won that game.

      • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

        This is the cowboys fans mantra…..’the refs’… Why would anyone write this idiotic story and give life to this stupid theory that isn’t there. EVERY team complains about the same exact things….. the refs are human yet we expect them to find every little thing…..not happening. As a Cowboys fan my theory is this……hire a real coaching staff, get better at depth and play football, The End. Writing idiotic stories and whining about and blaming others for losses and trying to invent some conspiracy theory because you want to believe that this team is SB bound every year is just not smart. With the current situation there is NO way this team is seeing a SB anytime. How about you write a story on the puppet and the fact that he really didn’t start winning games until they brought in 3 former HC’s to basically do his job for him……..THOSE are FACTS. Use that.

        • Brian Martin

          Never once in the article did I blame the loss on the refs. I was merely stating that they have missed way too many calls here lately against Cowboys opponents. I’ve tried to buy into Jason Garrett as a HC, but I think it’s time to clean house with the coaching staff. I doubt it happens though. I don’t think they want to change things up, especially with Dak Prescott playing well in the system.

          • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

            No you didn’t literally blame the refs for the loss. You just left it up to the reader’s imagination. It’s cool.

        • Datschu

          Bro a main player in this Jerry against the world issue is Arthur blank…. who owns the falcons. BLANK AND GOODDELL are boys! And all of a sudden the falcons don’t get ANY severe possibly Game changing g penalties called against them while playing Jerry Jones team? The refs were going to let players be injured and IRed for the year it looks like. Just to send a message to Jerry. Bank on it!!

          • Brian Martin

            I hate to think such a thing is possible, but there were way too many missed penalties against the Falcons. So, I guess it’s possible.

  • Edward Wehrenberg

    You left out the most egregious part:

    There hasn’t been a holding penalty called against an opposing Offensive Line in six straight Cowboy’s games.

    And who leads the NFL in holding penalties? You guessed it, the Cowboys.

    Can you please tell me how Dallas’ much improved D-Line hasn’t drawn a SINGLE flag for holding by an opponent in six games?? Almost seems impossible – haven’t we heard for years that holding can basically be called every play, blah blah blah…

    • Brian Martin

      Edward, you’re absolutely right. The Cowboys DL gets held just about every single play, but there hasn’t been a single flag. I don’t know if there is a conspiracy or not, but I think we can agree the officiating has been downright appalling.

  • Albert Smith

    A penalty called here or there which was plain to see, and we would’ve at the very least had a chance to fight it out fairly.

    • Brian Martin

      That’s really all I want to see. A fair game called both ways.

  • Rodney Lawhon

    This was the worst of the worst what the NFL’s Officiating crew did in the history of pro football as we the fans seen it on TV. Hey if you are blind ! an betting with the bookies this not blaming losses on the Refs. This is a fact Jerry Jones save clips an sue the hell out of the NFL this one you will win an the NFL thinks it’s to big to fail. Guess what its going to happen to the NFL !

    • Brian Martin

      There are way too many missed calls against the Falcons, but I doubt anything ever comes of it.

  • Richard Hamblen

    ..definitely rigged..Stevie Wonder could have seen those penalties..the officials were told to do that..they had to be..it’s not like they were hidden in the pile..I saw Morris get that face mask on-screen, but no call?..buncha political B.S..not giving the fill-in tackles any help was also stupid..they had him out 3 yards..hell, anyone could have gotten by and they did..six by one rusher..he’s good, but not THAT good..

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t really buy into the entire conspiracy, but it’s obvious the refs are missing way too many penalties against Cowboys opponents.

      • Datschu

        It’s goodell sending a message to Jerry. It happens in every business in every walk of life. The nfl is run by humans. Why would it be any different….

        How about this conspiracy theory… all pro sports in this country are fixed controlled regulated to control the flow of money to certain cities in this country. Houston had a catastrophe? Let’s guve them a title in baseball… generate some revenue there

  • John Williams

    The refs were very very bad on Sunday. It was mind boggling. I don’t know if it’s related to a conspiracy or not, but it’s awful.

    • Brian Martin

      John, that’s my way of thinking as well.

      • John Williams

        But after Thursday, I’m beginning to lean towards conspiracy.

  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

    Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh my mangina hurts….. STOP it. Go to ANY teams forum and you’ll read the same things over and over again ……’the refs are against us…..’ You know what? Here’s the real issue that no one wants to address….. how about you just hire a real coaching staff, have a better team and stop relying on other outside factors to help you win?

    • Brian Martin

      I’m actually ready for a complete coaching overhaul, but you can’t deny that the officiating was atrocious Sunday against the Falcons. It did have a huge impact on the game, but I don’t know if it would have helped the outcome many.

  • Datschu

    And if y’all out think about it… it alllll started with the zeke ordeal. All the penalties/non calls against the cowboys should’ve been an earlier sign of Jerry making waves against goodell.

  • Datschu

    The American sport sports fans are lemmings

  • Rodney Simpson

    Brian I love your points that first facemase non call was early in the game on 3rd down it would have been big, The big Dez missed calls of grabbing and hits etc each week no call. No our DBs called each time Anthony Brown lol now coaching is ok these clowns sayinv refs have nothing to do with it are DILLUSUONAL now with all that BS ATL played a good game I still think we could have won. I live in ATL note timely calls can sway a game PERIOD .

  • Scott Lesher

    How about Jason Witten getting thrown down LONG after the whistle directly in front of an official on Thanksgiving against the Chargers? I saw several Charger lineman holding the Dallas D, NO FLAGS…. I know they are human. We all miss things. But when the Dallas line is getting holding calls and the opponent from week to week doesn’t get flagged, that’s not right. Dallas is the only team I will watch with the BS going on in the NFL. If this keeps up I will be done all together. Please don’t forget the Packers playoff game last year. That final drive where Rodgers completed a pass to put them into field goal range. Look at the tapes, a Dallas defensive lineman WAS held. No flag….

Game Notes

Why The Seahawks Will Be Looking Into A Mirror Against The Cowboys Sunday

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

For the better part of the last decade one defense has reigned supreme over the NFC. One defense has continually put their offense and team in position to win big games, including a dominant Super Bowl win over one of the more productive offenses in recent memory.

That defense, of course, belonged to the Seattle Seahawks.

With a secondary deemed as the "Legion of Boom" and a defensive line which rotated through Pro Bowl level talent routinely, the Seahawks bolstered one of the best defenses the NFL has ever seen. A defense which perfectly complimented the physical, run first philosophy their offense lived by.

Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner will arguably be Hall of Famers one day, and they wreaked havoc on the conference for a strong 3-5 year stretch.

Now, however, things are changing.

Gone are many of the elite players which once bolstered the Seattle defense to top-tier status, and while some big names remain, the talent level simply isn't the same. The Seahawks missed the postseason a year ago, and now sit at 0-2 before their home opener today against the Cowboys.

Their window looks to be closed, while their opponent today is looking to build their defense (and team) in the mold of what once was in Seattle.

Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard has come to Dallas and brought with him a more aggressive defensive philosophy, one which he deployed successfully with the Seahawks. Under Richard the Cowboys are blitzing more often on third down than they have in the past under Rod Marinelli, they're utilizing more single high safety looks, and they are allowing their long and talented corners to do what they do best in coverage.

The Seahawks once leaned on a deep pass rush and long, physical secondary. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

The Seahawks once leaned on a mobile quarterback to make plays with his feet while relying on a strong running game and one of the league's best backs. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie look like they were molded in a 2013-Seahawks lab as cornerbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence is as productive as any pass rusher those defenses had. Of course, we aren't able to say the Cowboys have the consistent front four depth that those Seattle teams did or that they have the single high safety of Earl Thomas' caliber, but the preliminary pieces are clearly in place.

Today the Cowboys look to improve to 2-1 with a conference road win. But, they also look to bury the Seahawks in the past and take another step towards cementing themselves as one of the elite defenses in the NFC.

It won't happen over night, but anyone can see that the potential is there.



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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Sean Martin

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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is out for Sunday's game at the Seahawks with a sprained knee, further opening the door for Datone Jones to earn his spot among the "Hot Boyz". The moniker given to the Cowboys front seven this season, the team's depth up front has been a strength in totaling nine sacks through two games.

Last season, Datone Jones was a part of this rotation late in the year. Coming on strong at the 3T position while Maliek Collins played at the 1T, Jones is the type of versatile defender with veteran experience that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of.

Returning from a knee injury himself, Jones may take some time to be the disruptive interior player we saw at the end of 2017. Through two games, the Cowboys had played Collins at his original position of 3T, with Antwaun Woods doing more than enough to continue playing at 1T.

This potentially makes Collins and Jones two players fighting for one spot. Collins followed up his performance at the Panthers with a sack of Cam Newton by constantly playing in the Giants' backfield last week.

John Owning on Twitter

Guessing that means no Irving, I'd say Tyrone Crawford then Antwaun Woods. I have high hopes for Datone Jones once he returns though. https://t.co/9frjFK2J9J

A player determined to not let his team's misuse slow down his progress, after an incredible rookie season at 3T, Collins is returning from his second broken foot in three years.

Through his five years in the NFL, Jones has only played a full 16 games once.

The most games Datone has started in a season is four. Maliek Collins should like his chances of playing over Jones once both are healthy, and the Cowboys should be equally thrilled with the opportunity to keep both fresh in rotation.

Following Sunday's game in Seattle and next week against the Lions, the Cowboys can return David Irving from suspension to play all over their defensive line - his best position also being at three technique.

Without the wealth of talent they now have at all four positions up front, the Cowboys have had too many bodies to fill similar roles in the past. Thanks to the addition of Kris Richard along with strong edge play from Taco Charlton and rookie Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys defensive line can do no wrong in 2018, and using Jones in week three and beyond should only add to this.

The Cowboys biggest key to success against the Seahawks will be containing Russell Wilson. Pressuring him in his face to collapse the pocket gives Dallas a chance to really slow the Seahawks offense, something they'll be relying on Jones to help them do as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory also work with favorable match ups at defensive end.

Tell us what you think about "Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas?

As we enter week 3 of the 2018 regular season, we might be entering the next important date in the Earl Thomas conversation. It's been such a wild narrative ever since the Seattle Seahawks' safety asked Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett to "come get him" and the end of this talk is not close. The trade deadline won't come until October 30th. Only then will we be able to put this conversation aside until the 2019 Free Agency arrives.

After all that's happened, including the Cowboys offering a second round draft pick for Thomas, it may come off as optimistic to expect Thomas will wear the Star in 2018. However, when the Dallas Cowboys visit Seattle today, a victory on the road could spark the trade we've been discussing since December. 

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys and #Seahawks haven't spoken about Earl Thomas since before he return. Some in the Cowboys organization hope to restart talks today. Seattle would have to be blown away to even consider it. https://t.co/dhbSNPeiiF

Ian Rapoport reported today that trade talks ended between both teams after Thomas returned to the team just before the season began. The Cowboys, according to the NFL Network reporter, "hope to restart talks today."

It only makes sense, right?

The Seattle Seahawks are not re-signing the All-Pro safety. It's not happening. Thomas is clearly unhappy with the situation and hasn't been afraid to show it in social media. Shortly after returning to the Seahawks, he went as far as posting that "the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten."

If the Seahawks lose today against the Dallas Cowboys, they'd be 0-3 in a division where the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are the favorites. It'd be really difficult to bounce back into the  playoffs if they open their year with three straight losses. Even more with a very bad offensive line.

If their season comes to a point where all seems lost, why keep Earl Thomas? Why would they wait until free agency next year to let him go instead of getting compensation now? The Dallas Cowboys have already offered them a second round pick earlier this month, according  to reports from ESPN's Adam Schefter. It'd be very hard to understand if they open their season with three losses and still refuse to trade him for a second rounder, considering they don't want to give Thomas an extension.

Kam Chancellor's Seahawks Career Ends, Will Earl Thomas be Next to Leave? 2

The Cowboys and the Seahawks' front offices will be in the same building today, making this even more intriguing. The Seahawks will have the Cowboys out of their way, meaning they wouldn't face their All-Pro safety if they trade him after today's game. This is without a doubt a very important chapter in the Earl Thomas' trade discussion.

So far, the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked legit, ranking as the NFL's third best in points allowed. However, the team is familiar with losing in key moments against elite quarterbacks. Thomas could take this unit to the next level, and put the defense in a very good position to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs and beyond.

For now, Thomas will wear a Seahawks uniform and play against the team in which he might eventually end up. As if the game that's going to be played on the field wasn't enough action, Cowboys Nation will be wondering what's being talked about by both front offices inside CenturyLink Field.

Tell me what you think about "Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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