Cowboys’ snap infraction causes confusion after Redskins’ win

October 22, 2018 GMT

The Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 in part because the Cowboys were penalized for a “snap infraction” while lined up for a field goal attempt to tie the game.

But half an hour after the game, the Redskins did not know enough to illuminate the reason why that call was made.

“I don’t know what happened there. I just saw the false start, which was huge,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, though “false start” is not technically correct in this situation. “I didn’t see it so I don’t know what they called other than a false start.”

“I didn’t see it. I couldn’t really see it,” Alex Smith added. “But I was sweating a little bit when I saw a lot of movement over there, like, ‘Oh geez, don’t give them five yards.’”

The rarely-seen penalty played a decisive role in the outcome of the game, as the Cowboys lost five yards of field position, lined up for a 52-yarder and missed it as time expired.

Dallas long snapper Louis-Philippe Ladouceur was the guilty party on the play. He is the Cowboys’ most experienced player (14 seasons in the NFL) and told reporters he had never been called for a snap infraction before.

According to the NFL rule book, a snap must happen in one quick and continuous motion. Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, tweeted that illegal ball movement by the center (or, in this case, the long snapper) caused a Washington lineman to jump offsides.

Dallas coach Jason Garrett said he may have seen a snap infraction called once or twice in his carer.

Asked whether the official explained what Ladouceur did to draw the flag, Garrett said, “I don’t want to get into the details of all that.”

“It sucks,” Ladouceur told reporters. “Should’ve been in overtime. We’re going home.”