Cowboys stars slam ‘ridiculous’ officiating after beating Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Unlike the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys have no problem speaking their minds after games. And the officials from Sunday’s matchup at Gillette Stadium were in their crosshairs.
After Dallas’ 35-29 overtime win over the Patriots, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott insisted his team won despite some poor officiating by head referee Brad Allen’s crew.
“There’s no excuse for that,” Elliott told reporters after the game, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “That’s ridiculous the way they called that game. … We were able to overcome the Patriots and the zebras.”
Elliott likely was upset over Dak Prescott’s fumble at the goal line late in the first half, which was initially ruled a touchdown but overturned after video review.
The Cowboys also took a whopping 12 penalties for 115 total yards, and Elliott clearly didn’t agree with many of them. (The Patriots were assessed five penalties for 47 yards.
Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory shared the opinion of his teammate.
“I thought it was a poorly called game by the refs, if I want to be honest.” Gregory said after the game. “But you got to fight through it.”
The Patriots may have had a bone to pick with the officials, as well: Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown appeared to grab Nelson Agholor’s facemask on a third-and-3 pass attempt in overtime. No penalty was called, forcing New England to punt and setting up Dak Prescott’s eventual game-winning touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones didn’t take the bait when asked about that play, however.
“It’s football, it’s bang-bang, but when it’s one-on-one, things happen, and it’s not my job to throw the flag,” Jones said.
There’s not much to gain for the Cowboys in calling out the refs from Sunday’s game, especially after a victory. If anything, Elliott and Gregory might lose a little cash if the NFL decides to fine them for criticizing the officials.
Dallas is now 5-1 after winning five straight, though, so maybe Elliott and Gregory will happily pay any fine that comes their way.