A critical third-down pass attempt became the most critical call of the Wild Card playoff round when Anthony Hitchens of the Cowboys was called for pass interference on Brandon Pettigrew of the Lions. Referees initially called this as a penalty and the flag was thrown. Officials went so far as to announce the penalty to a chorus of boos. It would have resulted in a Detroit first down, late in the game and with the Lions up by three.
Then a wild Dez Bryant appeared.
Suddenly the flag was picked up without explanation. It left Joe Buck and Troy Aikman confused.
Detroit made the curious decision to try and lure the Cowboys offside, which they didn't fall for. The Lions were left to punt after a delay of game. A disastrous attempt that traveled 10 yards and resulted in great field position leading to a Dallas touchdown -- a score that turned out to be the game-winner.
There were numerous questions about the decision.
Wow why would they pick up that flag...it was pass interference!— Jim Daopoulos (@RefereeJimD) January 5, 2015
I am out of here. Biggest call was the DPI pickup. It was DPI and it was defensive holding as well. Not good. Flying back to Sac tonight.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 5, 2015
Caldwell on the explanation he got from officials following the waived off flag: "They didn't give me a good enough explanation."— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 5, 2015
This is one of those calls you'll be hearing about all week.