Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had some choice words for the league’s replay officials following his team’s 29-23 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys that was littered with controversial calls.
“That was a pretty terrible call,” Jenkins said of the officials’ decision not to give the Eagles the ball after Jourdan Lewis fumbled the opening kickoff, per Tim McManus of ESPN.com. “They reviewed it, and the explanation I got was that it wasn’t a clear recovery, although Kamu [Grugier-Hill] had the ball in his hand, and there was only Eagles defenders on the ball in replay. So whoever’s watching that in New York should stay off the bottle.”
Jenkins knocked the ball loose with a hit on Lewis, and it appeared as if Philadelphia’s Grugier-Hill recovered the fumble. However, replay officials said it “wasn’t clear” the visitors recovered.
“Common sense. You saw Kamu come out with the ball,” Jenkins said. “Obviously they don’t pay me to make calls like that, but that was, in hindsight, obviously a big play in the game.”
Rather than starting deep in Dallas territory and seizing momentum on the road with an opening score, the Eagles fell behind 6-0 in the first half and 9-0 before they finally scored in the third quarter. It was a defensive struggle in the first three quarters, with Dallas taking a 9-6 advantage into the final 15 minutes, but both offenses exploded to force overtime tied at 23.
Jenkins and the rest of the secondary couldn’t stop Amari Cooper, who scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the game-winner in overtime on his way to 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns. He and Ezekiel Elliott (113 rushing yards and 79 receiving yards) proved too much for Philadelphia and moved the 8-5 Cowboys two games clear in the NFC East.
The fumble Jenkins discussed after the game wasn’t the only controversial call to go against the Eagles.
They were down seven with less than three minutes remaining when Carson Wentz found tight end Dallas Goedert for what appeared to be a 75-yard touchdown. However, officials deemed it offensive pass interference and called the play back.
Former head of officiating Dean Blandino explained why that was the wrong judgment:
Dean Blandino @DeanBlandino
In Dallas that’s is not offensive pass interference. Heath tries to jam Goedert and Goedert uses his hands to swim through.
FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOX
Dallas Goedert’s 75-yard game-tying TD was called back for offensive pass interference.
Former head of officiating @DeanBlandino says this should not have been a foul.
(Sponsored by @Surface) https://t.co/jGkMHOVOMK
Philadelphia scored later on that drive and forced overtime—with the help of a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty on the ensuing play. Still, Jenkins’ comments made it clear the Eagles were not pleased with the officiating in the loss.