At an event that I judged last year, there were actually 2 brisket entries that could not be pulled apart.
I "Gnawed" and "sucked" a bite off of each and judged them accordingly.
Flavor was actually "not bad, but not great" the best I remember.
I gave them credit for flavor (and appearance), but was "honest" in my tenderness score.
As it happened, the Rep walked by just after we finished judging.
I picked up each of the leather peices and tried to pull them apart for him.
He just shook his head and moved on!
Now, if these folks had gotten cold feet and not turned in the leather brisket, they would have gotten ZEROS or something like that.
Since they did--they got full credit for Appearance and Taste (at least from me) and that may have affected their overall scores, side bets, pride, and all of that!
So, "If it is safely edible
--turn it in" is our policy
"Flirtin' with Disaster" BBQ Team (RETIRED)
FBA and KCBS Cook and Judge.
Former owner of a WSM, a Smokey Joe, a Charbroil Commercial gasser (junk), the legendary "StudeDera", a Fast Eddy PG500, and Sherman.
Now cooking with a Yoder YS640
Proud Pellet guy cooking on real wood.