Lions' Dan Skipper Reveals Exchange with Ref Brad Allen After Cowboys Game

NFL Officiating Debate Ignites Following Lions-Cowboys Game Clash.

by Nouman Rasool
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Lions' Dan Skipper Reveals Exchange with Ref Brad Allen After Cowboys Game
© Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

In a recent development that continues to stir controversy in the NFL world, Detroit Lions offensive lineman Dan Skipper has brought new insights into the disputed officiating during the Lions-Cowboys game. Skipper's comments follow the NFL's release of a video to all 32 teams, offering an explanation for the annulment of a potentially game-winning 2-point play due to a penalty.

Contrary to the NFL's assertion that he had declared himself eligible for the play, Skipper clarified his actions during a press conference on Wednesday. He emphasized that his gestures were intended to signal the Lions' "jumbo" package, involving 12 personnel, rather than to declare himself eligible.

"I wasn’t like this [wiping his numbers]. I was doing this [holding one arm up and another by his stomach, with two fingers out], signaling 12 jumbo," Skipper explained. This controversy hinges on two critical moments in last Saturday's game.

Initially, in the first quarter, Skipper entered the field as a sixth offensive lineman, signaling personnel and checking in with referee Brad Allen. The second, more contentious instance occurred in the game's final moments.

After a touchdown by Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions coach Dan Campbell opted for a 2-point conversion. Skipper re-entered the field, repeating his earlier gesture. However, he noted that he did not communicate with Allen this time.

Meanwhile, the NFL's video showed Taylor Decker indicating his eligibility, which seemingly went unnoticed by Allen, who only acknowledged Skipper's eligibility to the Cowboys' defense.

Decker's Controversial Catch

The play saw Decker catching a pass from Goff, momentarily putting the Lions ahead 21-20.

Skipper later detailed the standard procedure for declaring eligibility, stating, "You go up to the ref and tell him you’re eligible for the ball on the play." The Lions' subsequent attempts at the two-pointer were unsuccessful, with a penalty on Micah Parsons nullifying the second attempt, and a failed connection between Goff and James Mitchell on the third.

In the aftermath, Lions coach Campbell expressed a desire to move past the controversy. However, the Detroit community remains actively engaged, as evidenced by billboards around the city proclaiming "Decker Reported." Skipper acknowledged this support, commenting, "The city of Detroit’s been great.

Driving into work was fun. I don’t know who paid for all that, but it’s good to see." The incident has not only sparked debate among fans and players but also raises questions about the clarity and consistency of officiating in high-stakes NFL games.

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