Players continue to talk about the new rule regarding use of the top of the helmet in the open field.
None who have discussed it seem to like it.
“[T]hey keep making these rules, people aren’t going to want to watch football any more,” Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said Saturday, via the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think that rule is going to last long. There’s going to be so many penalties in this league. Too many guys getting fined. It’s hard for somebody to pay attention to trying to not to use their helmet.”
Another Cowboy who may benefit from trying to tackle tailbacks who aren’t ramming them with the tops of their helmets is skeptical about the implementation of the rule.
“Are they going to call it?” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “I think they’re trying too hard on that topic. It’s one thing to improve safety but it can’t just challenge the integrity of the game. I don’t see too many running backs out there running with their heads down intentionally trying to spear you or anything with their helmet. Most running backs lower their shoulder anyway. You’re taught to lower the shoulder and bring the boom.”
Tailbacks can still bring the boom with their shoulders, face masks, sides of helmets, and hairlines of helmets. The only thing prohibited — outside the tackle box and three yards or more down the field within the tackle box — is the use of the top of the helmet as a battering ram.
That’s all the rule is. And despite Dez’s concerns, the rule is going to last a lot longer in the league than he will. So it makes sense for him and all other players to understand what the rule is, what the rule isn’t, and prepare to adjust accordingly.