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Mailbag: Fitzgerald's Catch vs. Dez's No-Catch? Trading Back In The Draft?

PAUL ALBRIGHTAUSTIN, TX

While watching the catch made by Larry Fitzgerald this weekend, I'm sure I was thinking the same thing as every other Cowboys fan out there:  Nice catch, but too bad you won't get credit for it.  Needless to say I was outraged when they came back saying it was a catch.  Can someone please explain how they can rule Fitzgerald's a catch, yet rule the identical play for Dez an incomplete?

David:There's no satisfactory way to explain it, and that's what makes the rule so frustrating. The judgment of whether or not a receiver has established himself as a runner before he goes to the ground is entirely subjective. Perhaps if Gene Steratore – the guy who reversed Dez's catch last year – had been calling the game on Saturday, he would have ruled it incomplete. But it's ultimately a judgment call. The ref on Saturday apparently thought Fitzgerald had done enough to establish himself in the field of play. Personally, I don't see how one could possibly be a catch and the other wasn't. But, it is what it is.

Rob: I've watched both plays side by side again this morning (which makes my view total on the Dez play somewhere around 5,000) and they seem very similar in that both guys took multiple steps with the ball before going to the ground. The officials ruled there wasn't sufficient evidence to overturn Fitzgerald's catch. Last January they said, after review, that Dez didn't maintain control of the ball throughout the process. That's it. Don't have an explanation for why they're different. In my personal opinion, they both looked like catches to me.

DEVIN JIGGETTS
TROY, NY

Am I wrong to think the Cowboys are not as bad as normal teams who hold the fourth overall pick? I think we're much better than that, but I also think we have more than one need to fill. So am I wrong to say the Cowboys should think about trading back a few spots to get maybe another first round pick or a high second rounder? I don't hear anyone talking about that as an option.*

David:The thing I always want to remind people of with trades is that it's not as easy as just wanting to do it. Someone has to be willing to move up for your pick, and they have to be offering a good price for it. That's easier said than done. Now, if the Cowboys are presented with a scenario where they could trade back six or seven spots and add another pick or two, I'd absolutely be in favor of it. I think you're right. This team is not as far away as most 4-12 teams, so multiple picks could be a big boost.

Rob: Without knowing who will be available at No. 4 or what the Cowboys' thinking will be by draft night, I'd be very hesitant to try to get cute and trade back unless you're absolutely certain you can get the prospect you covet later. If you sit and pick at No. 4, the odds are much better you get the pick right, and that's the most important thing. The Cowboys do have more than one need, but the biggest need is getting a playmaker on offense or defense. They didn't make enough difference-making plays on either side of the ball in 2015 and a top-5 pick is a rare opportunity to find one after a very disappointing season.

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