It’s Week 15, and things are picking up as NFL teams strive to keep or get playoff spots. That includes both the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys, who met up Sunday afternoon.
The game’s opening events brought about a rare circumstance as quarterback Dak Prescott didn’t defer the coin toss correctly for the Cowboys, leading to his team having to give the Rams the ball to start each half.
UPDATE: The NFL league office decided that the Cowboys would get the kick in the second half after watching video evidence.
Update: Cowboys will receive to begin second half. They avoid kicking off to begin both halves. https://t.co/nCBtmzm1Bn
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 15, 2019
What happened with Cowboys and the coin toss?
At the start of each NFL game, players representing each team meet up with referees in the middle of the field. A representative from each side makes the coin toss calls for their teams.
In the case of the Dallas Cowboys, that duty was to be handled by quarterback Dak Prescott.
Dallas won the coin toss ahead of the game. However, when the referee asked for their decision, Dak replied with “defense, defense.” We want to kick it. kicking it that way,” Dak told the referee as he was pointing down the field.
The referee confirmed, “You want to kick?” and that’s when Prescott said, “We defer to the second half.”
Check out the video footage below via FOX Sports NFL, showing how the interaction went down between Prescott and the game official.
UPDATE: Dak Prescott did say defer to the 2nd half, but only after he said "defense" and "kick." pic.twitter.com/zKMKbHTc0U
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 15, 2019
Due to Prescott not saying “defer” properly, it brought up a rare occurrence. The Dallas Cowboys would kick the ball to start the game and then kick to the Rams again for the second half.
So that meant the Los Angeles Rams would get the ball to start each half in Dallas, something fans don’t see very often at all in NFL games.
It was a confusing incident on television as the audio wasn’t initially available, and the commentators struggled to understand what went down. Prescott and Garrett were both shown discussing with referees after the Dallas Cowboys coin toss went wrong.
Here’s further clarification of how the NFL coin toss rules work. Cowboys Nation explained that the Rams ended up with the “kick or receive” decision for the first and second half of the game due to the Cowboys’ captains not deferring properly.
Cowboys won the coin toss, but because their Captains didn’t “defer”, they gave the choice to the Rams for the 1st half & 2nd half and of course the Rams are going to choose to receive the kick both times so that’s what will happen.
NEVER seen that before.
— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) December 15, 2019
So far, the Dallas Cowboys were able to keep their heads in the game after that pregame issue. As of this report, the team was leading in the first half against the Rams in a game both teams need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.