Another day, another NFL owner claiming that locking out the officials isn’t making a difference on the field.
This time it’s Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said on 103.5 The Fan that he’s not concerned about the lockout.
“No I’m not,” Jones said. “As long as it’s the same for both sides — and it will be — we’ll be all right. And they’re going to get better as they move along.”
Jones, who was fined $25,000 in 2008 for criticizing referee Ed Hochuli and fined $100,000 in 2009 for discussing issues relating to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players, apparently doesn’t have any problem talking about the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the officials. Jones also said he doesn’t agree with those who believe NFL refereeing needs to be a full-time job, which seems to put him at odds with some of the owners, who have suggested that a new deal with the NFL Referees’ Association would include at least some of the refs agreeing to give up their other jobs and devote all of their time to officiating.
“I think we get better people by having officials that don’t make it full time,” Jones said. “When you only are officiating 16 games a year, plus the playoff games, it doesn’t warrant full-time officials.”
Ultimately, Jones said, he hasn’t noticed any difference with replacements, and he said he thinks that if there are mistakes on the field, instant replay should be able to get it right.
“I haven’t, really, because I can take any game at this juncture in any year and come up with criticism of the officiating,” Jones said. “It’s subjective in so many areas, and we’ve got in place a pretty good backup system now with our replays, and when it’s replayed. If anything, I’ve seen in a couple of our games the replay procedure needs improvement. . . . That has, in my mind, nothing to do with these replacement officials.”
Jones sounds like he’s convinced that the officials’ lockout could go on indefinitely without affecting the NFL. Something tells me he’ll change his mind if a bad call from a replacement official costs the Cowboys a game.