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Mailbag: Does penalty reputation hurt Cowboys?


I know that the NFL mantra is that the officials "call 'em as they see 'em," but have the Cowboys acquired a reputation for committing penalties such that the referees look harder when it involves Dallas? Some of those penalties are obvious (how can they keep lining up offsides?), but many of these arbitrary penalties like holding or pass interference don't seem to be called consistently for both teams. – Sam G./Great Neck, NY

Nick Harris:The Cowboys have been notoriously undisciplined this season, and I can't speak for how officials think, but I'd have to think that repeat offenders of the same penalty get a closer eye than others. For example, lining up in the neutral zone has been a constant this season, so it's something that has to be highlighted going into any specific matchup. The accumulation of penalties have badly hindered the Cowboys at times this season, and they will have to be cleaned up to have a better second half of the season.

Mickey: Well, I don't know about consistently for both teams since in this past game the Cowboys and Eagles were both called for 10 penalties. But couldn't agree with you more about a few of the penalties called on the Cowboys in this Eagles game that made you go "what?" Like the holding call on Luke Schoonmaker and the interference on Stephon Gilmore on an uncatchable ball. Or the no call when the guy was basically riding Micah Parson's back or the time they picked up the flag when it was obviously hands to Michael Gallup's face. I have no logical explanation for those, and the NFL upon further review can't be happy with the officiating in that game.

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