Mike McCarthy’s history with the Green Bay Packers has not been overlooked in his first days as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
As he was officially being introduced to his new role in a press conference on Wednesday, McCarthy was faced with a difficult question—”Did Dez catch it?”
It is something that has been asked of the coach many times. The McCarthy-led Packers faced the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Round in 2015. While the Packers held a 26-21 lead with 4:37 remaining in the game, Dez Bryant seemed to make an athletic catch near the goal line on fourth down.
What looked to be a game-changing play instead went to a game-changing challenge, when McCarthy wagered his final timeout on getting the catch overturned.
“I had one timeout, maybe four minutes left in the game,” McCarthy said on Wednesday. “And I said after the game, ‘That was one hell of an athletic play.’ I was impressed. Dez and Sam Shields, you’re talking about two great athletes going after the football. But I asked the question in regards to how the rule was written, and I was given the right answer by the referee, so then I challenged it.”
McCarthy said he was not even going to challenge the play until he talked to official Gene Steratore, who clarified the NFL’s catch rules. The play was then overturned, and the Packers moved on to the NFC Championship game.
McCarthy added that Stephen Jones, the son of Jerry Jones and Dallas’s executive vice president, “since got [the rule] changed on the competition committee.”
So, McCarthy admits Dez caught it—almost.
“It was a great catch, I can say now,” McCarthy said with a laugh. “But it wasn’t then, technically.”