Cowboys-Raiders penalties disappoint Micah Parsons, Jerry Jones: ‘Soccer should be played, not tagged’

Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium turned into laundry day.

Flags spilled onto the field non-stop for nearly four hours as the Cowboys hosted the Raiders. The team, led by referee Shawn Hochuli, Ed’s son, issued 28 accepted penalties – 14 for each team – for a total of 276 yards (166 yards against Dallas). Calls ranged from an obvious false start to an esoteric foul into the center of Raiders Andre James for a header. Dallas defensive back Anthony Brown was flagged four times for interfering with a pass, the last of which helped Las Vegas win 36-33 in extra time.

One of the more curious calls was to find a passer-by for the Cowboys rookie quarterback Micah Parsons in the third quarter. He patted the helmet of a falling Raiders QB Derek Carr after Carr threw a pass to Hunter Renfrow. Carr’s head then accidentally made contact with Parsons’ knee.

Parsons has spoken to numerous players and fans with his assessment of the team’s play and fun nature.

“We should be playing football, not tagging,” he told reporters after the game, by Jori Epstein of USA Today. “When do we actually play?”

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It was a rhetorical question, but Parsons wouldn’t get a satisfactory answer if he made a direct query to the union office. The NFL intends to keep quarterbacks — and subsequently everyone else on the field — healthy. That means calls as rough punishment.

A frustrated Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones certainly wished the zebras let them play more, especially for the PI penalties.

“This is not a criticism of the rules. It’s a criticism of your discretion in how you use them in the game,” Jones said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota.

“Oakland (sic) took advantage of the situation,” Jones said. “I call it ‘throw-in.” The right way to play it in a game like this [is] just throw it out there and get a penalty. “

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Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, a fan of not being penalized by the league, was short and sweet when asked about the chess festival.

“Twenty-eight punishments; I don’t know what the hell you want me to say,” he said, according to Jane Slater of the NFL Network.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Parsons, Jones, or McCarthy to learn that Hochuli’s crew threw the most flags in the league. Based on pro-football-reference.comTeam stats, the team have taken 135 penalties in their previous 10 matches this season, with 66 against the home team and 69 against the away team. After Thursday, the total went up to 163, according to total of, put it at #1 among the official teams with the rest of Week 12 to play. The difference between the three flags between house and road does not change.

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And while officials remained true to Thursday’s form, they didn’t come close to making league history. The NFL record for free kicks by both teams is 37, set by the Browns (21) and the Bears (16) on November 25, 1951. The highest number since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is 35, by the expansion of the Buccaneers (20) and the Seahawks (15) on October 17, 1976.

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