IRVING, Texas - After three weeks of missing regular-season games, the disagreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association has ended. The two sides of come together and the regular officials will be back on the field for Thursday night's game between Cleveland and Baltimore, along with the remaining games this weekend.
This news could not come soon enough, as fans, media and even players seemed to reach a tipping point after witnessing last Monday night's controversial blown call that cost the Green Bay Packers a victory.
One of the more frustrated players was Cowboys' safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who shared his feelings about a number of different topics on Wednesday, perhaps none more passionately than his feelings on the situation with the referees. Sensabaugh shared his own personal analogy when asked about the replacement referees.
"Would you let a Toyota dealership work on your brand new Rolls Royce?" asked Sensabaugh.
As a safety who could conceivably be in a similar position as M.D. Jennings of the Packers at the end of the Monday Night game, Sensabaugh explained his frustrations with witnessing the miscall.
"I just thought that call was crazy… I thought the defender had the ball. I saw clearly where the offensive guy took his hand off and tried to stick it back in there. It was crazy. I'm glad it wasn't our team though… I don't understand how everybody can see a game one way except for like three people."
Sensabaugh also shared his concerns of the game losing its credibility with fans because of such controversial calls. He compared it to his own frustrations with the sport of boxing.
"It reminded me of that (Manny) Pacquiao fight against (Timothy) Bradley. I mean you already knew 'dang Pacquiao won the fight' then they come out and say Bradley won and you're like 'what? I'm never ordering a boxing match again… That fight just killed boxing for me. I don't even know if I want to watch it.
Sensabaugh did make a point of explaining that he did not have harsh feelings towards the replacement referees individually, but he feels they should not be put in such an important position without the proper experience.
"I know it's a hard job that they do," Sensabaugh said. "I tried to ref in a basketball game for a young league and I thought the parents were going to kill me."
Sensabaugh summed up what many people have been saying for the past few weeks when he talked about the larger perspective and the importance of each and every game.
"Our brand is so big and so important to a lot of people there's no way you can have, I don't want to use the word incompetent, but guys that don't have experience at that level."
Cornerback Morris Claiborne took a much more diplomatic approach when discussing the referees.
"I haven't been here, this is my first year," Claiborne said. "So I don't know how the previous refs called everything so everything's new to me."
If the reports turn out to be true and the two sides can come to an agreement on all of the issues then the proven referees will be back on the sideline this season. The question is how soon?
With a Monday night game scheduled with the Chicago Bears rest assured that the all the Cowboy players are hoping that whoever is wearing the striped shirts will be competent enough to avoid the controversy of last Monday's game.