DENVER (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The “snap infraction” that doomed the Dallas Cowboys to a 20-17 loss at Washington capped a wild Week 7 in the NFL.
The biggest call of the weekend came when a Redskins lineman moved early as Cowboys kicker Brett Maher lined up for a tying 47-yard field goal in the final minute. The flag was on Dallas long snapper L.P. Ladoceur, who tilted the ball before the snap.
“Exact same things I’ve been doing for 14 years,” Ladoceur said.
He’s not alone. Long snappers routinely move the ball like Ladoceur did just before they snap it, and a flag is hardly ever thrown.
Instead of getting 5 yards closer, the Cowboys were backed up 5 yards, which mattered when Maher’s 52-yarder clanked off the left upright, leaving the Redskins (4-2) atop the topsy-turvy NFC East instead of the Cowboys (3-4).
While fans across the country were wondering what the heck a “snap infraction” was, the NFL tweeted a video about the rule — but didn’t say whether it was the correct call: “The illegal ball movement by the center in #DALvsWAS causes the defense to come across the neutral zone and contact a lineman.”
Players and coaches in both locker rooms were stumped by the uncommon call by referee John Hussey’s crew at such a crucial moment.
“This was a terrible call,” NBC analyst Tony Dungy declared. “An illegal snap has to be an abrupt movement or something unusual. The Dallas center does neither one of those. It’s not abrupt nor is it unusual.”
NBC showed side-by-side views of Ladoceur’s movement on the play that was whistled and the do-over and they looked identical. No flag was thrown on the second snap.
“That is his normal motion,” Dungy argued. “He did it in the snap before that. The next snap he does the exact same thing.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)