Officials perhaps miss penalty on Bucs for removing helmet, might have cost Cowboys points

·2-min read

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was upset that he didn't catch a third-down interception that was thrown right at him. He took his helmet off and slammed it to the ground. 

A big problem: We're used to that being a penalty in the NFL. 

However, the officials didn't call the infraction, which happened in plain sight. Though they might have had a reason. 

This is from Section 3, Article 1 of the NFL rulebook, which addresses unsportsmanlike conduct: "Removal of his helmet by a player in the field of play or the end zone during a celebration or demonstration, or during a confrontation with a game official or any other player." 

FOX officiating expert Mike Pereira did not think it should have been a penalty. 

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Had the penalty been called, it would have extended the drive. Instead of kicking a field goal, the Cowboys would have had a first-and-goal at the 9-yard line. Perhaps they wouldn't have scored a touchdown, but it would have been an important opportunity in a high-scoring half. 

The Cowboys made the field goal to take a 16-14 lead, then the Buccaneers answered right back with a touchdown. It was a huge decision if you're Dallas. 

Maybe the officials were too busy worrying about taunting penalties

Lavonte David got away with what looked like a penalty. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Lavonte David got away with what looked like a penalty. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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