2. One-sided intentional groundings
The intentional grounding call on Carson Wentz in the second half appeared questionable at first glance but replay showed that Logan Thomas, who did his very best to make it seem like Wentz’s obvious throw away was intended for him, was nowhere near close enough. Thomas just broke out of his block as Wentz attempted the pass, which ended at least 15 yards away from the veteran tight end.
Most Commanders fans would agree that was grounding. The problem with the call, though, was that Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush didn’t get called for grounding on a similar pass that was intended for Ezekiel Elliott. Can’t blame the refs, though. Since Elliott was merely present in AT&T Stadium, he qualified as a nearby receiver.
Can you sense our sarcasm?
Wentz’s penalty came on 2nd and 8 at the Cowboys’ 17. That turned into a 3rd and 22, which turned into a 3rd and 27 after a Sam Cosmi false start. The Commanders settled for a field goal to make the score 15-10. Clearly juiced after coming up with a big red zone stop, Dallas’ momentum carried over to the offense, which responded accordingly by driving 75 yards in three plays to open up a 22-10 lead.
This call didn’t cost Washington the game. It was probably the right call by the letter of the intentional grounding law. But you’re right to question if it was warranted (it wasn’t) given the refs let Rush slide earlier in the game.