More than a decade ago, the NFL outlawed the horse-collar tackle, a once-common tactic for dragging a ball carrier to the ground from behind by grabbing inside the back of his shoulder pads. The Competition Committee has now proposed an expansion of the rule.
If accepted by ownership, a violation will occur not simply when the defender’s hand goes inside the back of the jersey. The revised rule would make it a foul if the defender grabs the outside of the jersey at the nameplate or above, and then pulls the offensive player to the ground.
An expansion of the horse-collar rule was last proposed in 2012, when the Steelers wanted to the rule to apply to quarterbacks in the pocket. Ultimately, only five of 32 owners agreed to the change.
Proposals submitted by the Competition Committee usually fare better than that. Still, it’s not a given that 24 or more owners will vote in favor of any of the proposed changes.