"Hey, he's faking it! He's faking it!" tight end Jason Witten yelled to a side judge while pointing back at New York Giants defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who was resting on one knee, a trainer massaging his left shoulder.
With the Cowboys gaining momentum in their hurry-up offense late in the second quarter, the timing of Jenkins' shoulder ailment was more than a little bit suspicious -- especially since it came one play after Giants linebacker Dan Connor also went down with a neck injury.
"I thought us experts on football were the only ones who could see that," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I didn't know everybody could. It was so obvious it was funny. It wasn't humorous because we really wanted the advantage and knew we could get it if we could get the ball snapped."
"It's absolutely not true. It's not true," Coughlin said. "Both those players were injured. Connor never returned to the game. Cullen was in a position where he needed to regroup. So no, that really wasn't orchestrated at all."
This hardly is the first time the Giants have been accused of faking injuries, either. In a 2011 contest with the St. Louis Rams, two New York defenders fell to the ground multiple seconds after the previous play had ended, in what appeared to be a clear attempt to slow the Rams' offense.
The NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams on Thursday, reminding them that feigning injuries during game action could lead to substantial league discipline.