The penalty in question was called during the second quarter on a play by Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers. On third-and-7 from the Jets’ 11-yard line, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw an incompletion. But Franklin-Myers was flagged for a late hit, resulting in a first down. The Cowboys eventually scored a touchdown on the drive.
However, the NFL admitted to the Jets on Wednesday that Franklin-Myers’s hit was legal and no penalty should have been called, according to the New York Post’s Brian Costello.
A questionable roughing the passer call on Jets pass rusher John Franklin-Myers leads to a Cowboys touchdown before the end of the half. You be the judge on this call... pic.twitter.com/1SnisBG9vO— The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 17, 2023
It’s debatable whether the penalty affected the ultimate outcome, as the Cowboys won, 30–10. But when the call was made, the Jets only trailed 10–7. Rather than being able to hold Dallas to a field goal, New York yielded a touchdown for an 18–7 halftime deficit.
Jets coach Robert Saleh complained about the penalty to reporters on Wednesday before the NFL conceded that the call was incorrect.
“There’s nothing I can coach to make that different,” said Saleh, per the Post. “He got pulled down. His face hit the hip above the knee, which is still legal. Everything about it was legal.”
The admission probably provides little consolation for the Jets. Holding Dallas to a field goal could have influenced New York’s momentum. And a six-point deficit versus an 11-point margin may have changed the Jets’ strategy as the game progressed.