Shanahan: 'Push in the back' on long punt return

Shanahan: 'Push in the back' on long punt return
December 22, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Shanahan irate about no penalty on punt return

It was the same ol’, same ol’ right off the bat when the Redskins punted on their first possession of the game. Cowboys returner Michael Spurlock fielded Sav Rocca’s punt at his own 35. The Redskins, the league’s worst special teams, went into action.

Spurlock, who was signed off the street earlier this week to replace an injured Dwayne Harris, shook off a tackle and got some running room. He scooted down the sideline until Roy Helu, who was the last line of defense on that play, bumped him out of bounds at the three yard line.

After the game, Mike Shanahan was asked if Paul’s missed tackle was the root of the problem on the play. While he didn’t say that it wasn’t an issue, he pointed to something else.

He said that safety Trenton Robinson “had an opportunity to make a play”. However, Shanahan believes that he was illegally blocked.

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“I though there were some hands right there in the back,” he said. “It was disappointing. Maybe I didn’t look at it the right way, but it sure looked to me like it was a push in the back because I thought he was going to decapitate him right there on the spot.”

Perhaps not wanting to come off as though he was blaming the loss on the officials, Shanahan did say that the team could have done more to make the stop and to win the game.

“You don’t want to leave those plays in the official’s hand because you have to make enough plays to make sure that doesn’t happen and still find a way to win.”

Two plays after the return the Cowboys scored on a three-yard DeMarco Murray touchdown run to give Dallas a 7-0 lead just over two minutes into the game.