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Coaches and players react to pass interference no-call in Lions-Cowboys game

Even members of the Cowboys defense said the penalty should have stood as called.

The story of the Dallas Cowboys24-20 playoff win over the Detroit Lions is quickly becoming the critical pass interference flag that was inexplicably picked up by the refs late in the game. On third-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter, the officials threw a flag and announced defensive pass interference on Anthony Hitchens, who appeared to interfere with Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

But after a chorus of boos from the crowd and animated reaction from Dez Bryantthe officials waved off the penalty without any explanation. The Lions punted on fourth-and-1 and Dallas promptly drove downfield for the game-winning touchdown.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell was careful to note that the loss was about more than one play, but said he never got an acceptable explanation from the refs.

Former NFL officials quickly came out admonishing the no-call.

Even Cowboys safety Barry Church said the penalty should have been thrown.

Daopoulos, who spent 11 years as an on-field NFL ref, claimed that refs not only waved off the pass interference incorrectly, but also missed a call against Bryant.

Of course there was plenty of this joke:

As frustrating as the waved-off call was for many fans, the most controversial part of the play was that the officials never offered an explanation.