As Bryant fell to ground after the grab, his momentum carried him toward the goal line. He reached for go-ahead touchdown, but the ball popped from his grasp as he skidded into the end zone.
Via The Associated Press, here is the wording of the NFL rule applied on the controversial moment:
"If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete."
Bryant's reaction summed up the way that many viewers felt after the decision.
While some were critical of the replay reversal, others felt the officials correctly enforced a rule that doesn't make much sense.
The overturned call gave the ball back to the Packers, who held on for the win.
"It was fourth-and-2, and obviously they ruled it a catch on the field," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said after his team's defeat, via ESPN. "This game wasn't about officiating at all. That certainly was a big play in the ballgame. It looked to me like Dez had two feet down and made a move common to the game, which is a thing they talk about a lot."
Officiating controversies followed the Cowboys throughout their postseason trip, with a key call going in their favor in a wild card win over the Detroit Lions. In that game, officials picked up a flag thrown against the Cowboys for pass interference at a crucial moment.
In addition to be on the wrong end of a disputed officiating decision that benefitted the Cowboys a week earlier, the Lions were connected to this decision in Green Bay by way of Calvin Johnson. The unpopular rule applied to Bryant's attempted catch is widely referred to as the "Calvin Johnson Rule.