Call it a game of millimeters.
Sunday Night Football between the Cowboys and Raiders treated us to one of the strangest scenes of the 2017 season. In the fourth quarter of a tie game, the Cowboys decided to keep their offense on the field for a 4th-and-1 at their own 39. Dak Prescott took the snap and surged forward for what appeared to be a drive-sustaining first down.
Or was it? The spot necessitated a cameo from the chain gang, who jogged out to midfield to do their thing. And that's when things got super weird.
Notice the wry smile from referee Gene Steratore. This is the face you make when you employ a folded index card to make the biggest call of the season for two teams.
"This will live in infamy," Al Michaels offered on the NBC telecast.
"Never. Never seen air like that and it somehow got turned into a first down. The air between the ball and the stick. That's sure short and it goes the other way. Period."
Three plays later, Prescott connected on a deep ball to Dez Bryant, setting up the go-ahead field goal from Dan Bailey. The Cowboys won, 20-17. Speaking of Dez, Steratore was the referee on the field in the 2014 playoffs who made the infamous incomplete call in the "Dez Caught It" game. So, uh, even?