Cowboys' Mike McCarthy Says He's Spoken to NFL About Officiating Concerns

Adam WellsNovember 26, 2021

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy during a Thanksgiving day NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
AP Photo/Matt Patterson

Following Thursday's game with the Las Vegas Raiders that featured a combined 28 penalties called, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy contacted the NFL about the officials' use of flags. 

Speaking to reporters on Friday, McCarthy said he's already had one conversation with the league office and has another planned for this afternoon. 

After the Raiders defeated the Cowboys 36-33 in overtime, several Dallas players voiced their unhappiness with the referees. 

"We should be playing football, not tag," Dallas rookie Micah Parsons told reporters. "I’m not here to support anybody and play tag like it’s my best friend. I got a job to do, and I see how he’s outside of the pocket, so I’m going to the quarterback."

Parsons was called for a questionable roughing the passer penalty midway through the third quarter. He and teammate Osa Odighizuwa got on either side of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and forced him to dump off a pass. 

As Carr was tumbling to the ground, Parsons' right arm made incidental contact with the Raiders star's helmet. Carr briefly grabbed at his neck, but he was able to stay in the game.

The penalty added 15 yards at the end of a play that gained 11 yards, moving the Raiders to the Dallas 15-yard line. Marcus Mariota scored on a three-yard touchdown run three plays later to give Las Vegas a 24-13 lead. 

Per Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic, the 28 penalties were the most in a game in the past five seasons and the 276 penalty yards marked the third-highest total in a game in the past 10 seasons. 

The 14 penalties called against the Cowboys cost them 166 yards. Five of those penalties came in defensive third-down situations that gave the Raiders an automatic first down, including a 33-yard pass interference call on Anthony Brown in overtime that helped set up the game-winning field goal. 

The Cowboys have lost three of its last four games after a six-game winning streak. They still have a two-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.