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NFL referee defends bizarre ending to Cowboys vs. 49ers game

The final 14 seconds of the Cowboys vs. 49ers playoff game generated significant controversy, asit appeared that Dallas was denied a chance to spike the ball with time left on the clock.

came after Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott ran for a first down on a second-and-1 quarterback draw. Prescott slid down with about nine seconds Tye Smith Jerseys left on the clock and the Cowboys, who had no timeouts, scrambled to the line to spike the ball to preserve one second to run a final play.


However, as they prepared to spike it, the umpire appeared to get in the way, bumping Prescott and Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz and causing a brief delay. That caused the Zach Davidson Jerseys Cowboys to run out of time just before Prescott spiked the ball into the ground.

What a way to end the game!


The final sequence certainly looked odd, but referee Alex Kemp explainedafter the game that the officiating crew's execution was by the books during that sequence.

“The umpire spotted the ball properly,” .


But did the collision between the umpire and the Cowboys players matter?

“No,” Kemp said. “He collided with the players as he was setting the ball because he was moving it to the proper spot.”

Kemp's explanation lines up with the one provided Stephen Weatherly Jerseys by , as a ball must be spotted by an official before it can be made ready for play.

A Dead Ball is Ready for Play while the 40-second Play Clock is running when the ball is placed down by an official at the spot where the ball will next be put in play, or when the Referee signals for the 25-second Play Clock to start.

Before the umpire came in to spot the ball, it had only been placed down by Biadasz. So, the umpire was in the right for intervening, and he actually moved Dede Westbrook Jerseys the ball back about a foor or so to the proper spot, as Kemp noted.


Kemp further explained that the umpire was “absolutely” a reasonable distance away from the play. The umpire had to come sprinting forward to get the ball spot, so while some questioned why he was so far back, Kemp said that was just a product of where the umpire was supposed to line up.

“We're trailing the play, keeping a proper distance so that we can identify fouls, if there are any,” Kemp said. “Once the play is over, the umpire immediately goes to spot Wyatt Davis Jerseys the ball, and that's what he did.”


Coach Mike McCarthywanted the officials to review how much time was left on the clock after the final play, Minnesota Vikings T Shirts but the call was deemed correct by the officiating crew. As a result, they didn't consult the NFL's replay center in New York, per Kemp, because there was no error on the play.

So, the Cowboys just ran out of time. And that will leave Dallas fans ruminating the quarterback draw called by the Cowboys, as it ultimately was the final non-spike play of their 23-17 lo s.


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