Jerry Jones says catch rule is still a conundrum

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The NFL has had a handful of officiating controversies this year, but no major mess related to the catch rule, yet. With the Cowboys returning to Lambeau Field for the second time since #dezcaughtit, owner Jerry Jones picked at a scar that could be one of the factors influencing the reduced TV viewership of NFL games: The disconnect between what the audience regards a catch to be, and what the league considers it to be.

The decision to reverse via replay review the key fourth-down catch by Dez Bryant in the playoffs “knocked the credibility out from under the way we judge what’s a catch and what’s not,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

The outcome sparked an effort to re-examine the rule that, to date, has resulted in no substantive change to what a catch is, and isn’t.

“Since that play, I don’t believe they’ve been able to say it in a way that any of us understands yet,” Jones said.

As a practical matter, a renewed insistence on applying the replay standard as written has provided the league with some cover when it comes to changing the real-time rulings on the field driven by a know-it-when-you-see-it sense that a catch was, or wasn’t, made. Until , however, the league comes up with an objective formula that can be applied without discretion or debate, questions will remain regarding whether a player completed the act of catching a pass.

It’s hardly one of the issues about which the NFL is most proud. At a time when there are no current catch-related problems, the league likely would prefer that Jones and all other owners keep quiet about past catch-or-not-catch consternation.

25 responses to “Jerry Jones says catch rule is still a conundrum

  1. Hey Jerry, talk to your son on the Competition Committee about it and then fire your similarly-anointed Supreme Commissioner Goodell for screwing America’s greatest game.

  2. Green Bay top 5 defense this year going to be a great challenge for the Cowboys. See you on Sunday! DC4L

    Ps Hey jer, we r on a roll right now. Us loyal fan would appreciate if you tone down the interviews.

    -the fans

  3. I dont think I have ever agreed with Jerry Jones in my entire existence…….I do with this……The catch rule is still cloudy , with all this modern technology it should be clearer…

  4. Looks like the league is intentionally keeping certain key rules vague – probably so they can use the refs to determine the outcome of critical games.

    What counted as a catch last week doesn’t this week, sorry…

  5. Wasn’t last year’s regular season game the first time the cowboys have been to Lambeau since #dezcaughtit?

  6. Possession + two steps + a football move = catch. If a player has possession and hits the ground he is down, this whole still needing possession all the way through is ridiculous. If a guy is down the play is over end of story. I don’t know why this is so difficult

  7. Jerry Jones is spot on. I’m not sure the , no let’s make that, I am sure the refs, themselves, do not know what a catch is, on any consistent basis…..Questions to the league, like this one, is why JJ is nominated to the HOF, as a contributor.

  8. Jerry can say the ‘sun rises in the east,’ and there would be a portion of the commenters–presumably the ones that hate successful people–that will chime in with, no,nope never heard of the sun, such a thing doesn’t exist, 8-8 or something similar to that. just tickles me, how much hate a man generates by simply pointing out a commonly accepted notion.

  9. Dez Caught that pass just like Calvin caught the game winning TD against Da Bears. Tyler Eifert also caught his TD in regular season last year. Jags receiver had that TD against Ravens where football came out and the end. (STILL a TD) Jerricho Cotchery caught that pass in the Super Bowl. Bottom line the NFL has prechosen the outcomes of the games based on Vegas. This is the only plausible explanation as to why the NFL randomly decides what is a”Catch”. Fire #345 Park Ave. And replace the whole league office with Creatures or People of Integrity. (My dog would be a better commissioner)

  10. $9 billion (with a “b”) industry cannot come up with clear and concise verbiage to define the completion of a common play.

    Truly amazing. And sad.

  11. Of course not, it only makes news when the catch rule is at a key moment that may decided the outcome of a game….WHEN (not if) that happens, we will all be right back here to argue back and forth the interpretation part depending on what side of the rule your team fell on (loser or winner).

    It still needs fixed. The rule book in general needs serious overhaul and massive reduction in complexity.

  12. It’s questionable whether or not Dez caught it, but one thing is clear, it should not have been reversed whatever the call was on the field.

    Regardless, people forget, even IF the Cowboys score and go up by 3 points, they had not stopped GB the entire 2nd half and there was 4:30 left in the game. GB had to kneel down after moving the ball effortlessly 50 yards downfield.

    Green Bay would have won regardless.

  13. For 90 years everyone knew a catch when they saw one.
    Then along came Goodell and the rest of the gang that can’t shoot straight and now no one knows what one is until 345 Park Ave says so. And they wonder why ratings are down…

  14. The rule as written and enforced today will always punish the elite receivers more than anyone else. Dez, Calvin Johnson, and Odell Beckham are able to do things with their bodies that the average athlete just can’t do. Their “football move” to advance the ball may actually occur in mid air before landing. It takes something away from the game when we penalize them for their greatness.

  15. Did everyone forget that play happened with over 4 minutes left. Dallas down by 5. If ot was a catch Dallas would be up by 2 and packers drove all ways to the 20 and ran our clock so Packers could have kicked a game winning FG!

  16. All they have to do, is remove the going to the ground aspect and provide a clear definition of what is considered a football move.

    i.e. switch hands, extend the ball away from your body, create 3 points of contact with the ball (tucked against forearm + body or helmet), a third step, lower shoulder or head to brace for impact, lunge towards sideline or goal line, etc.

    And i don’t get paid 40 million a year.

  17. Dez clearly dropped the ball.

    Here is any easy way for players to understand, catch ball, secure the ball regardless how hard you are hit or how hard you hit the ground.
    Next hold on the ball like a mother cradles a new born.
    Next, the play isn’t over until the Ref taps you and says ” you can give me the ball now”

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