Cam Newton wearing a Rosie the Riveter pin. Mike Pence upstaging Peyton Manning.
Jerry Jones laying down the law. Chris Foerster throwing away his career. Big Ben taking the blame.
There was an abundance of off-the-field calls that drew scrutiny in Week 5, and one crucial decision on the field that backfired spectacularly in the league’s premier matchup.
When have we heard that before?
On a day that neither team had any idea how to stop the run, Ezekiel Elliott didn’t get the ball on second-and-2 from the Green Bay 11 with Dallas trailing 28-24.
Instead of handing off to Elliott, who had just scampered for 8 yards, Dak Prescott threw toward Dez Bryant in the left corner of the end zone.
Incomplete. Clock stops at 1:24
Prescott ran it in on the next play, putting the Cowboys ahead 31-28 but leaving Rodgers with 78 seconds and a timeout to drive Green Bay into scoring position.
Instead of going for a field goal on a day Mason Crosby had already missed two extra points, Green Bay went for the jugular.
After Rodgers’ pass to Devante Adams from the Dallas 12 fell incomplete with 16 seconds left, “I was going to call another play, but ‘Te came back and said, ‘Call it again,'” Rodgers recounted. “With his eyes, he just said, ‘Throw a better ball.'”
Rodgers did just that and his TD toss to Adams gave the Packers a 35-31 win .
CAM’S COMEBACK : Newton wore a Rosie the Riveter pin, flexing her right arm, on his hat before and after dissecting the Detroit Lions in a 27-24 Carolina win that came four days after his sexist comments to a female reporter cost him an endorsement.
The 2015 NFL MVP said he put Rosie the Riveter on his hat after doing homework to learn her iconic impact on World War II.
“I just wanted to have a little notion, a shout out, to all the strong women,” Newton said after completing 26 of 33 passes for a season-best 335 yards.
STAGED-UPSTAGED : Whether or not the vice president’s walk out of the 49ers-Colts game was a stunt, as San Francisco safety Eric Reid suggested, Pence’s protest of players kneeling for the national anthem certainly upstaged Manning.
The five-time MVP who retired after Denver won the Super Bowl two years ago became the first Colts player from the franchise’s Indianapolis era to have his jersey retired Sunday, a day after his statue was unveiled.
The focus shifted from Manning, however, when Pence walked out after several 49ers knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
JONES JUMPS IN : The Cowboys Hall of Fame owner jumped into the fray Sunday night when he said the league can’t leave the impression that it tolerates players disrespecting the flag, and that any of his players making such displays won’t play.
The Cowboys knelt arm in arm before the national anthem when they played at Arizona two weeks ago. Players, coaches and others, including Jones and his family, were among those in the line. All of them stood during the anthem, with arms still locked.
The NFL players’ union said in a statement Sunday night that discussions about issues by the league’s players should not be stifled.
DOLPHINS DRAMA: Adam Gase has dealt with plenty of drama in his second season in Miami, but nothing prepared him for what happened Sunday night when a video surfaced that would cost offensive line coach Chris Foerster his job after 24 seasons in the NFL.
The 55-year-old assistant coach resigned Monday, apologized and said he was seeking medical help after a video on social media appeared to show him snorting three lines of white powder at a desk.
Gase has had to deal with a season-ending knee injury to QB Ryan Tannehill, poor play by Jay Cutler, linebacker Lawrence Timmons going AWOL and Miami’s opener getting postponed by Hurricane Irma. He said he learned of the video late Sunday, soon after the Dolphins’ 16-10 victory over Tennessee.
Gase declined to say whether Foerster volunteered to resign or was urged to quit.
DOGHOUSE : The Jets’ social media department posted a graphic on Twitter on Friday of a sad-looking dog that resembles the Cleveland Browns’ logo wearing a cone around its neck, along with a Jets collar tag. The tweet included the word, “Sit” followed by #NYJvsCLE.
It was deleted about an hour after being posted. Someone might be in the doghouse because of it.
The message didn’t exactly fit coach Todd Bowles’ mantra that the Jets were “not good enough to look past anybody.”
“We haven’t done anything,” Bowles said after the Jets’ 17-14 win Sunday. “We’ve won three of five.”
That’s three more than a lot of people predicted.
ROETHLISBERGER REFLECTS : The Steelers, whom many expected to be the class of the AFC, are also 3-2 after Ben Roethlisberger threw a career-worst five interceptions in a 30-9 home loss to Jacksonville that included back-to-back pick-6s.
“Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger declared.
Serious or not, Steelers fans have to wonder.
With contributions from AP Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon and AP Sports Writers Michael Marot.
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton