Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used the words "terrible" and "awful" to describe the penalty called against safety Abram Elam that kept the Miami Dolphins' go-ahead drive alive in the fourth quarter Thursday.
With the Dolphins facing third-and-4 from their own 38, DeMarcus Ware sacked quarterback Matt Moore to force a fourth down. But the referees flagged Elam with illegal contact, keeping the drive alive.
The Dolphins went on to get a 23-yard field goal by Shayne Graham to take a 19-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys later responded to win the game on Dan Bailey's 28-yard field goal as time expired.
"We had a terrible, about as bad of an officiating call, on a hold on Elam, that would have given us the turnover, that I've seen," Jones said on his Friday morning radio show on KRLD-FM. "In review, it is awful. The bottom line is you got to have that. You're going to get some of those but you shouldn’t. But you're going to get some of them. It really shouldn’t be called if you don’t see it, and he didn’t see that because it wasn’t there."
Elam did get both hands on tight end Anthony Fasano as he tried a swim move to get past him while moving down the field. It was a questionable call in a close game where every play was important.
"That’s part of the game," Elam said of the call. "They get paid to officiate, we get paid to play, so all I can do is go back and line up and we were able to hold them down to just a field goal."