Roger Goodell: Cowboys-Giants refs were “more than adequate”


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell liked what he saw from the replacement officials who worked Wednesday night’s Cowboys-Giants regular-season opener.

Our officials did a more than adequate job last night,” Goodell said today at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit. “I think we’ve proven we can train officials, get them up to NFL standards, and we’ve done that in a three-month period. These officials will get even better as time goes by. The game is not going to stop.”

There were definitely mistakes on Wednesday night — most notably a missed call on what should have been a defensive holding penalty against Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick on a pass to Giants receiver Victor Cruz near the goal line — but there are mistakes with the regular officials, too. And for the most part, the game was well run by referee Jim Core and the rest of the replacement crew. The NFL got through one game without the replacement officials messing things up.

The question now is whether getting through one game without disaster striking will strengthen the resolve of Goodell and the owners in their ongoing standoff with the regular officials. Goodell said he thinks the league can continue to operate with the replacement refs.

“The officials are being trained. They understand the rules,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately, officials make mistakes. We have situations every season, every week, where an official may not drop a flag for a violation and we have to fine. Officiating is an imperfect science.”

But on Wednesday night, the officiating wasn’t as imperfect as many of us feared it would be.

63 responses to “Roger Goodell: Cowboys-Giants refs were “more than adequate”

  1. While there werent any horrible calls last night, I did find that NBC didnt provide many/any replays of the penalties for false start/holding etc that they usually show.

    I was almost as if the production was designed to make the refs look good. There were a few times players seemed upset about calls where no replay was given nor did the booth even comment.

  2. The officiating with the best replacement crew the NFL could muster was fine. Let’s see how the crews lower down the totem pole do.

  3. Jason Witten was lined up in an offside position on the Cowboys’ crucial 3rd down conversion righ before the two-minute warning. Should have been called back.

  4. “Unfortunately, officials make mistakes. We have situations every season, every week, where an official may not drop a flag for a violation and we have to fine. Officiating is an imperfect science.”

    I don’t have anything against Goddell per se, but maybe there is something to the fact that of all the potential types of missed calls Goddell could have cited to support his case, he chose those that he has to fine, even though the calls were missed.

    This won’t go over well with the “Goddell is obsessed with fines” crowd.

  5. Remember, the locked out officials are hoping that football suffers. Hoping that calls are missed/blown and that games are affected, teams get screwed and fans are outraged.

    That’s what they are hoping for. I understand why, but it’s sad.

  6. the replacement refs probably did a better job last night than I have seen out of the normal refs in a long time. Yes the holding penalty was not seen but it also did not determine the outcome of the game. Of course the fans of the losing team will say otherwise because they are a bit butt hurt right now.

  7. No worse than the regular officials. Any Giants fan can tell you, they were a damn sight better than Bill Leavy was in the Giants-Packers playoff game last year.

    Giants got beat last night, plain and simple. They got beat by the Cowboys, not by the refs, and not by themselves. And I am a Giants fan.

  8. Overall, they were on par with the regulars. I was complaining heavily in the first half (as was Collinsworth, justifiably so), but they really called a mostly clean game in the second half.

    I just want them to understand what pass interference, illegal contact and HOLDING consist of. I saw it all preseason, so it’s not “whining” or “crying” like overzealous Dallas fans claim. I saw it in every preseason game that I watched from every televised game.

    If you practice wrongly, you’ll perform wrongly in games. Goes for players and officials. Outside of those three infractions that they don’t seem to understand on the whole as a collection of officials, I hardly noticed them last night, and that’s a good thing.

  9. “But on Wednesday night, the officiating wasn’t as imperfect as many of us feared it would be”

    Yea, I wasnt too worried in the first place….

  10. previous years and including last year we complained about the officiating on numerous

    this year will be no different

    only difference is these poor fellows will be under a microscope and the media including Perriera will blow everything out of proportion for obvious reasons

  11. Yea, now lets see how they handle the onslaught of Sundays games. Getting all your BEST guys together for prime time is one thing. Having them spread in to 14 different crews across the entire country almost simultaneously is a completely different challenge.

  12. We don’t care.

    I’m not interested in stories about the refs. The greedy refs were horrible, and I’m sure the replacement refs will make mistakes as well.

    Who cares.

    Let’s talk football only from now on…

  13. I will handed to this replacement refs.. they did a pretty good job. nothing major stood out that affected the games final score in any way.

  14. Is Goodell really going to say the refs stink? Even if they blew every possible call, Goodell would never hand away the leverage to the NFLRA by admitting this. Not even worth the update.

  15. “But on wednesday night, the officiating was not as bad as we feared it would be.”

    I think you meant to say… “but on wednesday night, the officiating was not as bad as we wanted it to be.”

  16. It’s one night, and I suspect the NFL put their “best” crew out there, knowing the exposure it would get. Just wait til they cost someone a game this weekend.

    And just hope it isn’t your team.

  17. That is “ballsy” of the Commish to come out and state they have this officiating issue resolved based on a single game of “hand picked” replacments with the slate of games coming up this weekend. Based on the past 4 weeks pre-season performance, did these replacements all of sudden discover some type of holy water to make them better?

    This was one game that honestly didn’t have any real brain teaser plays to challenge them – good luck to Roger the rest of the weekend. Looking forward to the spin on Tuesday after this coming weekend. Perhaps something like, “our guys are the best in the world, we really miss them and look forward to getting a deal done with them real soon”.

    In fact that is what he was saying last Thursday after the Giants-Patriots circus in New York. They started negotiating the next day!

  18. This is another way for Goodell to make a positive statement to avoid any criticism on the NFL Brand. Goodell watch out replacement referees will make major mistakes in upcoming future games that will make you look stupid.

  19. For the 1st nationally televised game of the season, he is right – they did a very good job. However, we knew they would put their best crew on display, but I’m worried about the other crews that I saw in the preseason. Sunday will be very telling. I could care less about who’s doing the officiating as long as it is good (or as good as it can get). Hope they do well on Sunday too.

  20. I’m going to lose my sympathy for the striking officials fairly quickly. Sure, it’s easy to paint a picture of the poor ol’ NFLRA fighting the good fight against Roger Goodell and the evil NFL empire. But when you start looking at *everything* with a skeptical eye, the NFLRA doesn’t come out looking so good, either.

    If somebody gets hurt and it’s because the first-tier refs weren’t on the job, the NFLRA is going to have to carry their fair share of the responsibility as well.

  21. I am a giants fan and, while I did think the Cruz play was a big no call, Just like Romo found his thunder after that nice drop in the giants never got going and a td there woulda helped these refs from last night were much better than the regular refs normally are. I also saw the Witten play, but things like that happen, especially to “America’s team” with the regular refs too. Either way I’m starting to think really good things will come of this, if replacement refs do good it lights a fire under regular refs butts where they previously had no competition and if they do poorly at least it goes for every body so no one has an advantage and reg refs will be back anyway. Either way it’s not as bad as I originally thought bc no calls are better than over calls, which are what the regular refs do all the time. I’m in, go NFL teach these refs a thing or two about greed. 150k and a pension and 10% raises for 16 games, they think their untouchable, when lingerie league refs last night did better than I’ve seen in 4 years

  22. This crew was basically the replacement ref all-stars. The NFL weakened crews from two other (low-profile) Sunday games to get this collection together for the prime time opener. I shudder to think how the 14th, 15th and 16th best replacement crews will fare.

  23. The better team won,
    that official squad was pretty good I thought, I have seen way way worse in the pre season, sunday should be interesting.

  24. Jesus can we get through a couple of weeks worth of games. Before we start praising these guys. It was the top crew officiating one freaking game.

  25. @ceschatz
    If only Seahawks fans would get over a bad call. Their still butt hurt about SB XL even though they lost by 11. Refs didn’t pave the way for a wide open Hines Ward to catch a pass from Randle El or help Parker scamper for a 75 yard TD before that

  26. If only this had been done years ago, maybe the tuck rule, immaculate deception, etc. would have been called correctly. No, it will never die.

  27. “Remember, the locked out officials are hoping that football suffers.”

    And the NFL’s lockout is going to _make_ football suffer. Not just in hopes or thoughts, but in actions. That’s much, much worse.

  28. ““Our officials did a more than adequate job last night”

    More than an adequate job = didn’t single handedly throw the game.

    It’s easy to succeed when you set the bar 2 inches off of the ground. The replacement referees weren’t abysmal but that was the best of the bunch. Celebrating their performance is like celebrating your cooking because you didn’t set the house on fire.

  29. I have NEVER watched an NFL game where there wasn’t a holding call until the middle to end of the game…..NEVER…….Let Elias Sports give us the stats on that one…… As Kiwi said after the game “I haven’t been held that much since I was a baby”. Sunday will be a cluster……Good Luck explaining how adequate the officials were on Monday morning….

  30. What does “more than adequate” mean? Is that the same as partly sunny or mostly cloudy? More than adequate sounds like a cop-out to me.

    Shouldn’t he have said they were satisfactory?

  31. He puts the big drive to the Saints for not honoring the shield and the integrity it represents…

    …then he puts replacement referees on the field for record counting, fan paying games?!?

    This sounds like one of the repeating plots of Roge’s on What’s Happening!!

  32. I saw holding that didnt get called
    an pass interfearance that was not called. an late hitting that was not called in that Giants game. Bring back the real refs.

  33. What they need to do is make the regular officials accountable too. Mike Pereira says they are graded, but then why do they keep making the same mistakes?

    They should jave them more accountable by making personal fouls reviewable, and also by fining refs for certain mistakes (no, not every little missed call, but obvious ones). Let’s really hold ref accountable okay, an not claim we are!

  34. Refs did fine. Just as good as the normal overpaid guys(as in missed a couple calls).

    Gotta love whiny Ginats fans who only got 4 penalties to 13 , were outplayed all game and still need an excuse for a loss. Man up!!

  35. How long before we stop calling them “replacement” refs. And just start referring to them as Refs, you know?

  36. Replacement refs missed a huge call on Victor Cruz that would’ve given the Giants another couple tries to make a TD. Also missed a bunch of other holds and pass interference calls done by the Cowboys.
    Ryan saw how they weren’t calling PI and holding, so he told his secondary to do it even more so. Don’t tell me it didn’t affect the game. Once he saw the refs weren’t calling blatant PI, he told his people to do it moreso. You can see it got worse as the game went on.

  37. Yeah, we know. They missed a lot when they called 13 penalties on the Cowboys, missed nothing when they called only 4 penalties on the Giants.

    Remember when the “real” refs couldn’t even get the coin toss right? That wasn’t all that long ago. I remember a game in 1988 where the Giants kicked off to the Cowboys to start the game, Daryl Clack tried to catch it at the one but muffed the ball into the end zone. He chased the ball down and tried to run it out but was tackled in the end zone by Mark Collins. Refs called it a fumble and awarded the Giants 2 points for a safety. The replay official didn’t order a replay at the time and realized at halftime that the call was wrong. It should have been a touchback. The Giants went on to win 12-10, and the replay official, Armen Terzian (the guy who Marv Levy calls an “over-officious jerk” in that NFL Films spot we’ve all seen), was suspended two games by Pete Rozelle but he ended up resigning his position in shame.

    Point being don’t tell me the “real” refs haven’t done some really stupid things over the years. When I see something like the above happen with the noobs, I’ll care about getting the “real” refs back.

  38. All this talk of refs, the originals are screwed…
    All refs make mistakes but some are just glad to be employed….some dont mind 401ks over pensions and a small increase in the workforce…

    Sounds to me like 121 “refs” need to forget about their part time gigs and let someone else take the jobs

    Come on Man!

  39. Dallas fans SMH. The calls on Dallas cannot be disputed. They false started each time they were called for it.

    You can’t have it both ways ny saying “there were missed calls both ways” with regards to holding. The Giants were in a soft zone all night, and no receiver was interfered with or held. That’s a completely different story from the mugging that Dallas offensive linemen got away with all night.

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