NFL Admits Mistake On Eugene Sims Roughing The Passer Call


Sep 21, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Eugene Sims (97) is unable to tackle Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Cowboys defeated the Rams 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

While Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams coaching staff are way past their customary “24 hour” rule about discussing the previous week, many in Rams Nation, and beyond, are still miffed about a handful of the officiating calls that aided in the teams’ heart-wrenching defeat. While play on the field ultimately decides the winners and losers on Sunday, there are certainly tangible moments that greatly aid in the successful of one side, and the failure of another. Last Sunday, there were a handful of those “moments,” in the unsightly form of a yellow flag. None might have been as important, or as egregious, as the roughing the passer penalty, called on Eugene Sims.

To set the scene, after recovering a botched Scott Wells snap at their own 47 yard line, the Dallas Cowboys started their final drive of the opening half with :39 seconds left in the game. After a couple of moderate gains, Tony Romo stood in the pocket and fired a pass down the middle, falling incomplete, with only :13 left on the clock. With one timeout left, it is conceivable that the Cowboys could have run one more play, tacking on an extra three or four yards, and set up Dan Bailey for a long field goal attempt. However, they would not have to answer that call, thanks to the officials.

The gently tap on the shoulder would hand Dallas an extra 15 yards, setting up the Cowboys’ “automatic from inside 50 yards” kicker well within range to put more points on the board heading into halftime. With those 10 points, the Dallas Cowboys road the momentum into halftime, and would eventually be the difference between a 31-31 potential score and the actual 34-31 defeat.

In most cases, these types of penalties get lumped together as “part of the game,” easily forgotten by the time the team takes the field the next week. However, not when…

The NFL admitting a mistake is a huge deal, particularly with the Shield typically hiding behind the façade of “erring on the side of caution,” all while blinding supporting their officiating crews. That was not the case here.

While, we are sure that Jeff Fisher and Co. appreciate the admittance of fault, it ultimately won’t change the fact that the St .Louis Rams are sitting with a 1-2 record. Hopefully, officials will be more cautious in the future, with consideration to this call.