Ref explains non-PI call at heart of Lions-Cowboys controversy

The pass interference call that was ultimately overturned in the Dallas Cowboys’ win Sunday has drawn plenty of criticism.

Shortly after the game, referee Pete Morelli attempted to offer up an explanation for the decision to overturn the initial ruling on the field.

Morelli said the back judge threw a flag on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens on a pass to Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew in Dallas’ 24-20 wild-card win Sunday. But the head linesman said there wasn’t enough contact and that Hitchens was face-guarding, which isn’t a penalty in the NFL.

But Morelli, who was interviewed by pool reporter Todd Archer, said that he had never seen a play like this before and “it would have probably been smoother if we got together.”

Below is the entire transcription of the interview, via The Detroit News writer Josh Katzenstein.

While Morelli admits that he should’ve waited to announce the pass interference call, the ruling was overturned and the officials never offered an explanation on the field as to why.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.