Some plays will be remembered forever. Fans will never forget David Tyree’s catch during the New York Giants’ win over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Quake” touchdown run in the playoffs for the Seattle Seahawks was also unforgettable.
More than six years have passed since Bryant’s play, but the debate on whether it should have been a catch or not is still a heated one among NFL fans. Because of this, the receiver recently used a tweet to send out a strong reminder.
Dez Bryant’s non-catch ended the Cowboys’ 2014 season
The Cowboys were excellent in 2014. They went 12-4 and won the NFC East before winning in the wild-card round over the Detroit Lions, 24-20.
Dallas then had a tough matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round, and the game went down to the wire.
The Cowboys led 21-20 in the fourth quarter, but with 9:10 left, Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers. It gave Green Bay a 26-21 lead.
Dallas then got the ball back after the score and drove from its 18-yard line to the Packers’ 32, but the team faced a fourth-and-two with just under five minutes left. On that fourth-down play, Tony Romo completed a pass to Bryant near the goal line. It was a huge moment that would have put the Cowboys in a great position to score the go-ahead touchdown.
However, Green Bay challenged the ruling, and the refs overturned the call. They said Bryant did not maintain possession while going to the ground and stretching for the end zone. The incomplete pass resulted in a turnover on downs for the Cowboys, and the Packers ran out the clock to clinch the 26-21 win.
The call ultimately ignited a debate on what should be considered a catch and what shouldn’t. The NFL then later simplified the rule, and if it were to happen this upcoming season, refs would deem it complete.
To this day, Cowboys fans are still upset about the play, and it appears Bryant gets emotional about it too. Had it been a catch, Dallas would have had a chance to play in the Super Bowl. But, instead, the team went home for the rest of the season.
Dez Bryant’s tweet sends a reminder to NFL and Cowboys fans
Bryant’s non-catch took place over six years ago, but the former first-team All-Pro brought the debate back up on July 11.
Bryant posted a photo of a pair of cleats on Twitter and said: “I stumbled across these cleats and got a little emotional because these are the cleats I wore against Green Bay… it was a catch and forever will be a catch!!!”
As expected, hundreds of people agreed with Bryant in the replies.
Bryant, though, knows how much that catch means to NFL history, so he refused to follow Roberts’ advice.
“I’m going to keep them… these cleats made history,” he tweeted.
Whether you thought it was complete or not, it’s safe to say that it would have been called a catch today. Since it was ruled incomplete, though, Cowboys fans will always be left wondering “what if.”
What is Dez’s future in the NFL?
That 2014 season was arguably Bryant’s best in the NFL. He earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors that year, catching 88 passes for 1,320 yards. He also recorded an NFL-leading 16 touchdown catches.
Bryant then played on the Cowboys for three more seasons but failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards again. He then missed the 2018 season due to injury and didn’t sign with a team in 2019 before playing in six games with the Baltimore Ravens in 2020. He only caught six passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns.
Ahead of the 2021 NFL season, Bryant is a free agent, but he has tweeted that he plans on playing this upcoming year. It’s unclear which teams are interested, though, if any are interested at all.
We all know Bryant was an unreal talent on the Cowboys. Hopefully, he can find the right situation and can land with someone who helps him get redemption, especially since we all know it was, in fact, a catch.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference