It is never a good look to lose a game and point a finger at the referees, but for the Cowboys, you’ll have to allow them some leeway. There was critical officiating that went against the Cowboys on Sunday, including an important pass interference on Stephon Gilmore that never should have been whistled and a blatant facemask that should have been called but wasn’t.
And former star Dez Bryant was none too happy about how the referees treated the Cowboys.
On Twitter (X) on Sunday, Bryant repeatedly made clear that the Cowboys would have beaten Philadelphia if not for the officiating.
Responding to a tweet pointing out that Cowboys fans had gotten quiet, Bryant wrote, “Bruh I know you are watching the same game. Refs on some other sh**. Explain to me how that was a flag on Gilmore!”
When another fan wrote suggesting that the referees had money against the Cowboys on the game, Bryant responded by writing, “Facts.”
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 6, 2023
Cowboys Incensed by 2 Referee Calls
The two pieces of blown officiating highlighted by Dez Bryant’s refs rant are the ones that most rankled Cowboys players and fans on Sunday. On one, video showed pretty clearly that soon after the snap, Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup took a smack to the face from cornerback James Bradberry.
Greg Olsen: “Oh ya hands to the face.”
Just before the two-minute warning in Dallas #Cowboys vs Philadelphia #Eagles, James Bradberry throws a haymaker at Michael Gallup and the FLAG IS PICKED UP. NO PENALTY CALLED! WHAT IS GOING ON???? Philly cheating.#CowboysNation #DalvsPhi pic.twitter.com/J2r05gJnDJ
— detective marky mark (@markkberger) November 6, 2023
There was not much video needed, really. Bradberry knew he had committed a penalty as soon as it happened, as evidenced by the way he pulls his hands back and looks around, like he was caught dipping into the cookie jar. The referees saw the offense against the Cowboys and flagged it but … picked up the flag. No penalty.
The call against Gilmore was maybe even more bizarre. On the play, which came on a second down with five yards to go from the Eagles 42-yard line and the score at 21-17, Eagles, Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts lofted a pass along the sideline for A.J. Brown, as Gilmore defended. The pass was well beyond Brown’s grasp and he, essentially, appeared to give up on the play. Gilmore, too, turned and looked ready for third down.
— Mike McDaniel (@MikMcDaniel) November 5, 2023
But then, the officiating struck again against the Cowboys. Out came the flag. Brown seemed as surprised as anyone.
Said analyst Greg Olsen, who was working the broadcast, “I’ll tell you what, I don’t love this call.”
With good reason. But the call stood and the Eagles picked up 7 yards on the play, setting up their fourth touchdown of the day—the one that made it simply too difficult for the Cowboys to come back.
Dez Bryant: Officiating Better Help Cowboys on December 10
There were plenty of other reasons the Cowboys lost the game, apart from the referees. But a handful of calls that went against Dallas did prove too much to overcome for two closely matched teams vying for the NFC East crown. The loss on Sunday was a big one, dropping the Cowboys to 5-3, and running the Eagles to 8-1.
Dez Bryant still likes the Cowboys’ chances though. As long as the referees behave. “The better team did not win that game,” he wrote. “That’s crazy.”
Bryant also hoped that the Cowboys would be getting the same officiating the Eagles got when the venues switch. Philadelphia comes to Dallas on December 10.
“REFS MAKE SURE WE GET A COUPLE OF THEM CALLS NEXT TIME IN THE BIG D DAMN!” he tweeted.