Cowboys-Chargers Ref Gives Weak Explanation for Controversial Muffed Punt

Monday Night Football's game between the Dallas Cowboys and the LA Chargers saw a controversial "muffed" punt reignite the ongoing debate regarding fair-catch interference rules within the NFL. The interpretation of the "passive" and "active" engagement rules has been a major point of contention.
The refs explained the controversial muffed punt from Monday night's Cowboys-Chargers matchup.
The refs explained the controversial muffed punt from Monday night's Cowboys-Chargers matchup. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NFL referees were at the center of some controversial calls in Week 6, and that continued on Monday Night Football. The one fans are still talking about from the Dallas Cowboys' win over the Los Angeles Chargers is the "muffed" punt that resulted in LA getting the ball back despite some clear interference.

After the contest, VP of Officiating Walt Anderson addressed the game-changing moment.

Anderson was pressed on why fair-catch interference wasn't called as KaVonte Turpin was impeded during his return attempt. He said because Turpin's teammate, Jalen Tolbert, was "actively" blocking an opposing player, that didn't apply since it's on the returner to avoid contact in this kind of scenario.

Looking at the NFL rulebook, it does state that if an opponent pushes a returner's teammate into them, that does constitute interference. But, the teammate has to be "passive" (not actively engaged) to draw a penalty.

The technicality between "passive" and "active" engagement is incredibly weak on the NFL's behalf. No punt returner should have to worry about their own teammate being thrown into them if they're actively attempting to block. In fact, that would make these types of plays even more dangerous than they already are, and more injuries is the last thing the league needs.

Even if the Chargers' special teams didn't commit an inference infraction, there was clear hands to the face against Tolbert that should've been called, too.

This is just another example of Dallas being on the wrong side of an official's obvious mistake. Luckily, Mike McCarthy's squad was able to rise above the unfortunate circumstances to pull out a crucial win. Hopefully this victory gives this team some much-needed positive momentum to build a streak.

Looking to make futures bets on the Cowboys after their big win? Make sure to do it at DraftKings Sportsbook, where new users can grab $200 in instant bonus bets. All you have to do is claim the offer below and place a first wager of just $5. It's that easy!

In other Cowboys news: