Now, they’re working on something even bigger, in the name of player safety.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the league’s competition committee has broached the subject of a targeting rule, in an effort to reduce the number of dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits.
“In our ongoing study of how to make the game better, we just seemed to see more lowering of the head,” Cowboys executive Stephen Jones, who sits on the competition committee, said. “Always we’re looking at ways to improve and make the game safer. And when you look at the plays where the players are dropping their head, we’re doing a good job of catching it after the fact with fines and things of that nature, but probably can do a better job of making the call on the field that hopefully we’ll even emphasize more. Heads-up football.”
The idea seems to have gained some traction, though it has come up so quickly they may not be able to vote on it this week. Coaches are out playing golf this afternoon, but owners vote on things without their input anyway, so that doesn’t matter.
They would seemingly need more time to develop the language and enforcement of any such penalty, which would seemingly follow the college rules that allow officials to eject players for helmet-to-helmet hits. But it appears enough owners are serious about the idea that it could come to fruition, in some form.