NFL: Cowboys coach berates 'absurd' penalty count in Raiders loss
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was frustrated by the "absurd" number of penalties called during his team's 36-33 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.
Defeat in the Thanksgiving Day matchup, one of the most-watched games of the year, leaves Dallas at 7-4 for the season and a 80/1 shot to clinch the NFC Championship.
Flags cause Cowboys' frustration
Daniel Carlson kicked the game-winning 29-yard field goal in overtime to bring the Raiders back into playoff contention, but the key play on that drive was the result of one of 28 penalty flags thrown at AT and T Stadium.
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Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown was called for pass interference on Zay Jones on third-and-18 to keep the Raiders drive going - his fourth interference penalty of the night and all of them came on third-down incompletions.
"The numbers are absurd, definitely understand that, " McCarthy told reporters later, via ESPN, drawing attention to the officiating crew's record of throwing the fifth-most flags and accounting for the third-highest penalty yardage on the season.
"But just like everything in this game there is trends and patterns, and we anticipated this game being officiated this way."
Penalty issues not a secret
The Cowboys were already among the highest-penalised teams in the NFL, but moved to the top of the list after Thursday's game, which was available on the Sports Live Streaming platform.
However, McCarthy suggested he would not be too harsh on his players in the wake of this particular showing.
"It's the line that you have straddle. I don't want our guys slowing down and playing slower. We've tried that already and that didn't help us overcoaching the penalties a few weeks back.
"We'll take a hard look at it. We evaluate the penalties every week. We break them down and it will be part of our fundamental emphasis as we get ready for the [New Orleans] Saints."