Lang on scrum: 'That's just playoff football'
If there would have been a contest held for the biggest and brightest smile in the Green Bay Packers' locker room Sunday, right guard T.J. Lang would have been your winner.
And it would have been a landslide.
Lang was one part happy, two parts relieved after the Packers rallied to take out Dallas 26-21 in an NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.
After a touchdown on its opening possession, the Packers' offense was spinning its wheels much of the afternoon until a DeMarco Murray fumble put Green Bay in business at the Dallas 44, trailing 14-10, midway through the third quarter.
Facing a second-and-6 from the Cowboys' 12, quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 5-yard pickup, but as Adams struggled to gain yardage and break free from a tackler, Lang entered the pile and delivered a block to Cowboys defensive tackle Nick Hayden to try and free his man, but the blow resulted in a hockey fight breaking out.
After everyone was separated, Lang was called for a dead ball unnecessary roughness penalty, costing the Packers 15 yards, a down and the much-needed opportunity to take back the lead. Instead Green Bay settled for a 30-yard Mason Crosby field goal and trailed 14-13 with 7:46 to play in the quarter.
"I was jogging down there, saw Davante fighting for extra yards, saw a guy wrapping him up still trying to take him to the ground and I thought I heard the whistle as soon as I made contact with the guy," Lang said. "I didn't think it was late, that's not the kind of game I play. I just try to take care of my guy.
"The explanation I got from the ref was that somebody upstairs told them to call it on us. It was a tough one. Heat of the moment, man; that's just playoff football. You try to take care of your guys, lot of intensity, might get a letter from the league office but that's fine. Glad we won the game."
Lang said he never heard of being called for a penalty from the press box.
"I asked the ref later in the game what they said and he said, 'We've got a bunch of refs here upstairs' and they felt it should have been on me for instigating the little melee there.
"Obviously I felt like crap there after the penalty. There's no guarantee we would have scored a touchdown but maybe taking four points off the board, so I'm probably the happiest guy in the locker room that we won.
"I would have been feeling pretty rough if we hadn't come through with the win after that penalty."