Michael Gallup eschewed the high road in the emotionally-charged moments following Sunday’s controversial loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Robbery victims tend to be unforgiving, and Gallup won’t soon forget what was taken from him.
“Honestly, when you’re playing away, you’ve got to make sure you know you’re playing against the refs and the other team. It is what it is,” he said after the 20-17 defeat. “They’re going to call it like they want to call it. We’ve got to keep playing through.”
The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver is, of course, referring to his ticky-tack offensive pass interference penalty in the waning moments of the Week 1 clash. Refresher: Dallas was trailing by three with the ball at their own 34-yard line and 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter. On third-and-10, quarterback Dak Prescott uncorked a perfectly-placed deep shot to Gallup, who secured the 47-yard gainer, beating coverage from Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The game-changing OPI call on Michael Gallup that negated a MASSIVE pickup pic.twitter.com/MjqBh4KNer
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) September 14, 2020
There wasn’t much interfering. Replay (seen above) showed the players jockeying for position, with Gallup subtly initiating contact against Ramsey. Emphasis on “subtly”; it wasn’t enough to decide the outcome of a one-possession tilt in crunch time. Because PI is no longer challengable, the Cowboys were forced to live with the result — 0-1, a bitter start to an intensely-hyped campaign.
Head referee Tony Corrente defended the call in his post-game remarks to Cowboys pool reporter Clarence Hill. Corrente felt “it was clear” that Gallup extended his arm to fend off Ramsey and couldn’t bring himself to swallow his whistle
“I can tell you it was clear and obvious on the field, of a hand into the opposing player. A full arm extension that created separation,” Corrente told Hill, via ESPN. “In all situations that would be called. We’re not going to allow that at any time of the game.”
It’s difficult to lump the entirety of blame on the zebras. Jared Goff, in conjunction with the Rams’ rushing attack, sliced and diced Dallas’ defense, while Dak Prescott and the offense wasn’t the well-oiled machine many were expecting to witness.
But the argument that Corrente and Co. impacted the outcome of the game is indisputable.
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Gallup, Ramsey Differ on Arm Extension
Gallup, who finished with three receptions for 50 yards, did not have to do much as Prescott perfectly placed the ball into his hands. The negligible nudge to create separation is what did him in. And it arguably wasn’t even that but normal hand fighting that occurs between a receiver and defender on every snap.
“Well, I could’ve at least tried to pull my arm straight through, but I kept toying with him,” Gallup said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I guess I can see it a little bit. I don’t think it was enough (to warrant a call).”
Ramsey certainly does. In fact, to him, it was “clear as day” (interestingly, the same verbiage used by Corrente) that Gallup committed an infraction.
“He extended his full arm so it was clear as day,” he said after the game. “If they didn’t call that I would have been highly upset. That was clear as day in my opinion. I don’t know what y’all saw but that’s what I saw and felt out there.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL