The tape doesn’t lie.
Antonio Cromartie went up high for the ball and cradled it in his arms as he and Miles Austin fell into the end zone and rolled on turf. Both players clutched the ball with all their might as if they were two kids refusing to let go of a toy.
But to Cromartie’s dismay, the jumpball – and the touchdown -- was awarded to Austin.
“Yeah, I’m over it,” the Jets cornerback said of the Dallas score, which put the Cowboys up 17-7 in the third quarter of Sunday’s season opener, eventually won by the Jets. “It’s an offensive game that’s how the NFL like it. …It’s an offensive league so it already says in the rulebook that if we tie it’ll go to the offense.
"But I felt like I had the ball. I felt like he didn’t take it until he tried to roll me over. I thought we were supposed to review every single touchdown but I guess we didn’t review that play.”
Cromartie lamented several missed opportunities by the Jets' defense – like Dez Bryant’s three-yard TD grab (over Cromartie) in the far corner and Jason Witten’s 64-yard catch down the line.
"There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement,” Cromartie said.
Especially when it comes to his man-coverage.
“I probably could have gotten a better jump at the line,” he said of the Austin play. “…I just took a false step and by me taking a false step, he ended up trailing a little bit and I was able to just catch up to the ball. I didn’t really play him at all once I saw the ball thrown.”
On Bryant’s first-quarter touchdown, Cromartie said he lost the ball -- "Otherwise I just would have jumped in the air if I would have found it,” he said. If he had a do-over on the Austin TD, Cromartie said he would have gone up and turned his body towards the ball and fought harder for it.
He added that he initially thought thought he played “pretty bad,” but after looking at the film he was pleased with the Jets’ defensive effort.
“We were playing a little bit inconsistent throughout the game,” he said. “We just played as a team and at the end and came out with the victory.”