DALLAS - The NFL may have made a mistake when penalizing Brice Butler and the Cowboys for an unsportsmanlike huddle during last Sunday’s NFC championship game.
Officials made the call during the first quarter after Dak Prescott completed a 22-yard pass. They said Butler came off the bench, joined the huddle and then left without playing. The Cowboys would have had a first down, but instead they were penalized 15 yards and later forced to punt.
“Rule prevents offense from trying to confuse defense with personnel,” Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, explained on Twitter.
However, NFL analyst Michael Lombardi said Thursday on Twitter that he talked to two teams who called the NFL for clarification of the rule after the game. They were told the call shouldn’t have been made because the Cowboys weren’t trying to be deceptive.
The too many men in the huddle call on Dallas for 15 yards was a mistake, the league admitted this to teams...sorry....— michael lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) January 19, 2017
Spoke w/ 2 teams that talked to the NFL office about the huddle call and both said it was a mistake. No deception on the part of D, no call— michael lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) January 19, 2017
Other teams saw the call, called the league office for clarification and NFL said Dallas was not being deceptive,no call was the right call— michael lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) January 19, 2017
The NFL hasn’t yet responded to Lombardi’s claims.