Despite Big 12 apology, the damage has been done to Cowboys

Aren't we always taught to say we're sorry when we hurt someone else? Well, the officials hurt the Cowboys. Hurt 'em bad.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 3, 2012

The Big 12 apologized to Oklahoma State for blowing a call and costing it a victory.

Little good that does now.

I mean, it's nice and all that the conference's head of football officials called Cowboy coach Mike Gundy to say he was sorry. It's swell that Walt Anderson admitted that a mistake resulted in a game-winning touchdown run for Texas instead of game-winning fumble recovery for OSU.

Aren't we always taught to say we're sorry when we hurt someone else?

Well, the officials hurt the Cowboys. Hurt 'em bad.

The fumble was missed, the touchdown was called, and unfortunately for OSU, the replay was unclear.

Touchdown, Texas.

So sorry, OSU.

No amount of apologizing is going to make the Cowboys feel better. It's not going to make repeating as the Big 12 champion any easier. It's not going change the outcome of that game Saturday night.

But here's the harsh truth for the Cowboy Nation — it shouldn't be changed.

Overturning the outcome of a game is a can of worms no one wants to open.

Nowadays, we have technology that makes it tempting to say wins and loses should be changed in a situation like this. While a cadre of officials on the Boone Pickens Stadium turf didn't see that Alex Elkins knocked the ball out of Texas running back Joe Bergeron's hands before he crossed the goal line and Daytawion Lowe recovered it, we now know that's exactly what happened. We have so many television camera angles that we can scrutinize. We have so many specialized angles that we can dissect.

I actually had a Cowboy fan on Twitter send me a link to a picture of the disputed play. The fumbled football had been highlighted, though I have to admit that I looked and looked and looked at that picture, and I'm still not sure I would swear that the football was short of the goal line.

I sure wouldn't bet my house on it.

But hey, if the Big 12's head of officials says a mistake was made, I tend to believe him.

Still, there's no way the outcome of this game — or any game; sorry, Green Bay — should ever be changed for a botched call once the teams leave the field.

This game was decided on a call that seemed to swing the outcome in the opposite direction, but it's not as simple as that. It's impossible to know what would've happened in those final seconds. OSU would've likely gone into the victory formation, but the Cowboys were playing a backup quarterback. What if J.W. Walsh went under center, a place Cowboy quarterbacks rarely go, and the snap exchange went wrong? What if the Longhorns went all Greg Schiano on the Cowboys, flew over the line and caused a fumble?

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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