Roger Goodell’s so-called better-than-ever NFL officiating blew the end of Cowboys-Lions, then doubled down


Saturday night, an NFL official clearly made a huge mistake. It happened on a massive stage, before a national television audience, in a game that was consequential for playoff seeding. When he was pressed for an explanation, he doubled down by describing a scenario that made no sense. This is what resonates about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s better than ever officiating, which has glitched and rebooted seemingly every few weeks this season. So now we wake up Sunday morning — talking less about the history-making night of Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb, or the unbelievable final drive of Lions quarterback Jared Goff — and instead are left to dive into the mangled mess that unfolded with referee Brad Allen. By late Saturday night after the Cowboys hung on for a 20-19 win, there was the testimony of the Detroit Lions, who not-so-carefully pointed a finger at Allen blowing his job. There was a litany of video angles that appeared to back up their testimony. Then there was Allen effectively accusing the Lions of lying. Without launching a full-blown Warren Commission on it, here is a thumbnail of what happened, before we get to why it’s so problematic for the NFL.