His Cowboys lost on Thanksgiving to the Las Vegas Raiders in a tight game by the score of 36-33 in overtime.
Jones’ postgame comments were more directed at the officiating of the game.
The two teams combined for 28 penalties in the game.
What Jones Said
Jones did not imply that all the penalties went in the Raiders’ favor.
He was more or less talking about the volume of penalties and the strategy of playing “throw up ball”.
That is essentially heaving the ball down the field and drawing penalties to get big gains.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on 28 combined penalties today in loss to Raiders: “I call it ‘throw up ball.’ …This will arguably be the most-watched game other than the Super Bowl. I hate that it got down to just throwing the ball up and getting the penalties to get you big plays.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 26, 2021
“To their credit, I think [the Raiders] just did a real good job of getting their big plays, and a bunch of them were penalties in the throwing game. They took advantage of it, and I think it influenced the win. We had some plays go with us too, it wasn’t like it didn’t go against them. So again, this is really not a criticism of the rules. It is a criticism of the discretion of how you use them and what play.”
Pass Interference Penalty
Jones is not wrong.
One of the most subjective penalties in the entire NFL is defensive pass interference (DPI).
Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown had four defensive pass interference penalties called on him in the game.
That is one-half of all DPI penalties called on the Cowboys for the entire season (8).
This one decided it. Four pass interference calls against Anthony Brown today pic.twitter.com/FoJO5ks1b9
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 26, 2021
More troubling for the Cowboys was that all of the DPIs called on Brown were on third-down plays, and they resulted in big yardage gains for the Raiders.
Anthony Brown :
1st DPI : 3rd & 10 for 11 Yards
2nd DPI : 3rd & 6 for 30 Yards
3rd DPI : 3rd & 8 for 17 Yards
4th DPI : 3rd & 18 for 33 Yards
All DPIs total for 91 yards & came on 3rd Downs…
But he wasn’t the reason !? pic.twitter.com/XbQbUXFsTX
— Black Moscato 🥃 (7-4)🌟 (@Ace_Eca4) November 26, 2021
Any given Sunday, arguments can be made on the validity of the DPI calls made in all NFL games.
Those four calls alone gave the Raiders an additional 91 yards.
This leads some spectators/fans to believe that the purposely underthrown ball is a designed play to get the DPI.
The purposely short thrown ball to draw a DPI is absolutely a real play in today’s NFL.
— Branden (@ThatBrandenGuy) November 26, 2021
In theory, I love the NFL’s DPI rule (spot of the foul). But where it gets annoying is when QB’s just throw deep balls hoping for any sort of contact, and then the refs reward them by throwing the flag on arm fighting.
— Josh Cox (@joshuacox) November 26, 2021
If that is the case, something is wrong with the system.
DPI Penalty Numbers
Through the Week 12 Thanksgiving games, there have been 201 accepted DPI penalties in 2021.
San Francisco (14), Tampa Bay (13), Cleveland (10), and Tennessee (10) are the worst offenders.
Last season, through 16 regular season games, there were 298 accepted DPI penalties.
Complaints But No Resolution
Though there have been widespread complaints about the subjectivity of the officiating this season, the problem is not going away anytime soon.
While it is true that officials are trying to protect player safety, the DPI calls (and roughing the passer calls) do seem excessive this year.
It feels like the penalties are potentially changing the outcomes of the games.
However, with no resolution in sight, it appears as though this will be an ongoing problem.