The Dallas Cowboys kicked off to the Miami Dolphins after taking the lead with a touchdown and making it 21-14. The kick return from Jarvis Landry was strange, because he allowed the ball to bounce in the endzone, rather than catching it. The bounce carried the ball out of the endzone and back toward the advancing Dallas coverage team.
Of course, since the ball was kicked over 10 yards, it is considered a live ball and Landry had to do something. He ran up, dove on the ball and covered it up at the Dolphins' four-yard line. But, as soon as he was called down, the Dolphins' return man began pointing at the sideline. Why?
Because, it appears there should have been a penalty called for a kickoff out of bounds, and the refs completely blew it.
Landry is clearly out of bounds when he grabs the ball. Since he is out of bounds, the ball should have been considered out of bounds the moment Landry touched it. That is, therefore, a penalty and Miami should have been given the ball at the 40 yard line. Instead, the Dolphins started with the at their four-yard line and, thanks to a holding penalty on a Ryan Tannehill first down run, would only gain a total of one yard on the drive before having to punt the ball away.
The refs blew this call, and blew it badly. The ref is clearly just behind Landry and should have seen the returner's foot out of bounds. He should have realized it when Landry started pointing at the sideline. Instead, they did nothing - not even discussing the possibility of a kickoff out of bounds - and Miami could do nothing about the play.
And, before the argument starts that a player out of bounds is not the ball out of bounds, on NFL.com's "Big Play Highlights," is this play in which Randall Cobb did EXACTLY what Landry just did.
UPDATE: I have confirmed that this play was challengeable by the Dolphins, though they did not choose to do so. Also, confirmed that the ball bouncing in the endzone did not have any impact on the play - it still could have been called a kickoff out of bounds.