Officials pick up flag for pass interference, Cowboys benefit

This was called pass interference ... before it wasn't. (FOX)
This was called pass interference ... before it wasn't. (FOX)

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If the Cowboys come back to win Sunday's wild-card matchup against the Lions -- in a game they trailed 14-0 -- the fourth-quarter decision to pick up a flag for pass interference against Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens against Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew will be scrutinized in the coming days.

On third down, and with the Lions leading 20-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Hitchens was originally flagged for pass interference:

Referee Pete Morelli even announced the penalty to the crowd and then, as quickly as said  announcement was made, the flag was picked up, and the Lions were facing fourth down. They punted, and several minutes later, the Cowboys took their first lead of the game, 24-20.

"It is clearly pass interference, he is not playing the ball," FOX Sports' Mike Pereira said during the telecast, adding that then issue could be due to the officiating crew having never worked together before Sunday.

You can follow the Lions-Cowboys game on's GameTracker.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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