Report: NFL admits to Lions that refs made second costly error

Ronald Leary should've been called for holding on this play. (Fox)
Ronald Leary should have been called for holding on this play. (Fox)

For the second time in as many days, the NFL is admitting that the officiating crew in the Cowboys-Lions game Sunday made a critical mistake on a key fourth quarter play.

According to, the league admitted to the Lions that Cowboys left guard Ronald Leary should have been called for holding on a critical fourth-and-6 play from the Lions 42-yard line with six minutes left in the game. 

Leary (65) hooked Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh on the play. 

The Cowboys converted the fourth down when Tony Romo hit Jason Witten for a 21-yard gain. However, if the holding had been called, the Cowboys would have been facing a fourth-and-16 from their own 48-yard line. 

After converting the fourth down, the Cowboys scored the eventual game-winning touchdown eight plays later on an 8-yard pass from Romo to Terrance Williams

Obviously, Lions fans aren't going to be happy about this because it means the team was burned on two non-calls in during a three minute period in the fourth quarter. 

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino admitted on Monday that the Lions should have been awarded a first down on a critical play in the fourth quarter. On the play, Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens made contact with Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew and was flagged for defensive pass interference. 

After a conferring with fellow officials though, referee Pete Morelli eventually waived off the flag. According to Blandino, the officiating crew should have at least called defensive holding on the play. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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