Cowboys Screw Up Coin Toss: Rams Will Receive Second-Half Kickoff After Starting Game With the Ball
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4).
UPDATE: The NFL reversed Walt Anderson’s decision since Dak Prescott clearly did say “defer” in the video. The Cowboys received the 2nd half kickoff, after all.
The Dallas Cowboys did not properly defer the kickoff before their game against the Los Angeles Rams, which means L.A. will receive the second-half kickoff after starting the game with the ball.
The Cowboys won the coin toss prior to the game, and when referee Walt Anderson asked QB Dad Prescott his team’s choice, “Defense, defense, we want to kick it. Kick it that way.” In order to defer receiving the kickoff to the second half, you must verbalize it to the official.
Here’s where this gets confusing: Prescott did say the key phrase — “Defer to the second half” — at the very end, but it appears Anderson didn’t hear that part, and because of that, the Rams will essentially get an extra possession in Sunday’s game.
FOX replayed the coin toss video/audio. Dak definitely says “defer” at one point.
Apologies to Jason Garrett. This feels like it’s entirely on Walt Anderson. Also feels like there’s a simple fix. pic.twitter.com/fkQMcCnbPm
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 15, 2019
That could prove crucial in a game that oddsmakers expected to be extremely tight, all things being equal. The Rams closed as 1-point favorites at DraftKings on Sunday, with an overwhelming percentage of the public expecting L.A. to cover.
Sportsbooks will certainly need to adjust their live betting and second-half odds to account for this rare occurrence. The team that receives the second-half kickoff usually gets a little bit of a boost.