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Missed call mars Vikings' attempt to force overtime

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If the Minnesota Vikings didn't have bad luck, they would have no luck at all. During Thursday night's loss to the Cowboys, after an incredible effort from their defense, the officials let them down.

Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game with 25 seconds left, Sam Bradford was clearly hit in the helmet by Cowboys defensive tackle Cedric Thornton. The right hand of Thornton clearly raked Bradford's helmet and facemask while Thornton's left arm hit Bradford's throwing arm, causing the pass to sail far out of the end zone.

Bradford immediately complained to official Tony Corrente, who motioned to Bradford that the hit only occurred on Bradford's shoulder pad.

"He told me I did not get hit in the facemask," Bradford said after the game. 

Replays showed that the officials clearly missed the call. While Bradford was tight-lipped about the missed call, Vikings defensive end Brian Robison was animated in the locker room, complaining about the lack of holding calls and the missed call on Minnesota's final offensive play.

"I'm sick and tired of the ref-ing in this league," Robison said. "I'm sick and tired of it. You've got holding calls all over the place that people don't want to call. Bradford gets hit in the face at the end of the game and you don't call it. I'm not laying this loss on the refs. At some point, it's got to get better ... At the end of the game Bradford gets hit in the face and it doesn't get called.

"This has been building up over the last few weeks," Robison continued. "I know I'm probably going to get fined, but at some point, somebody has to stand up and say something."

This call did not decide the outcome of the game on its own. The Vikings would have been given another opportunity to convert the two-point conversion, and it's far from guaranteed they would have converted, much less won in a potential overtime. But Minnesota fans have every right to be upset that their team didn't get their opportunity on a night the Vikings defense stood tall.

This latest controversy over a missed call comes on the same day Troy Vincent, the league's vice president of football operations, told The Associated Press the NFL is planning to eventually hire as many as 17 full-time officials.

NFL Network's Rich Eisen suggested after the game that plays like this should be reviewable in the final two minutes, something the NFL's Competition Committee could eventually consider. The league wants to get the call right and protect the quarterback, and neither happened on Bradford's final throw.

Early Friday morning, Robison clarified his earlier comments on Twitter:

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