Cowboys get ball after half following coin toss miscue

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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After much confusion during the first half of Sunday's game between the Cowboys and Rams, Dallas received the ball after halftime.

Initially, it appeared Los Angeles would get the ball to begin both the first and third quarters after Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott told referee Walt Anderson the Cowboys would opt to "kick" instead of "defer" to start the second half.

The FOX broadcast later played audio of Prescott clarifying Dallas wanted to "defer" after saying they'd kick, but it still seemed that Los Angeles was destined to gain an additional possession due to the miscommunication.

The issue, however, was rectified during halftime. Anderson conferenced separately with Rams coach Sean McVay and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, and L.A. kicked off to begin the period.

FOX reporter Erin Andrews relayed on the broadcast Anderson told her they did determine the word "defer" was said at one point by Prescott.

"Dak had told me that he used the word defer out there," Garrett said after the game. "So we felt like we had a case there, that they needed to kind of hear it. Then I actually was coming into the locker room and Erin Andrews made me aware that there was some audio that they were going to refer back to."

Prescott admitted after the game that events of the coin flip made it a weird way to start the game.

"Just bad use of words by me," he said. "Able to listen to the audio, we got it figured out, but it wasn't the cleanest coin flip I've been a part of."

As per the NFL rulebook's Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9: Game administration allows the replay official to consult with on field officials or conduct a replay review of game administration issues.

"If you look at what happened, you see that the Cowboys actually say three different things, and then we hear at the end where they say, 'defer,'" NFL VP of officiating Al Riveron said in a pool report, per Pro Football Talk. "So we go ahead and look at it. We pulled up the audio. We knew that I was going to have a conversation with Walt Anderson at halftime to make it right."

Dallas led 28-7 at the start of the second half and cruised to a 44-21 win to snap a three-game losing streak.

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