Jerry Jones’ assessment of pass interference replay review: “Be careful what you wish for”

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Five weeks in to the use of replay review for pass interference, the device has morphed into an emergency-only vehicle for preventing another Rams-Saints outcome. The league office, under the supervision of senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron, is rarely overturning the ruling on the field, applying a standard much more stringent than the one he had intended to use.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked for his take on the situation during his Tuesday visit with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Jones said. “Jason Garrett made an impassioned plea at the annual meeting to let the coaches have the right to replay . . . pass interference calls to a certain number of them. What we’re finding out is there is a lot of interpretation on what officials will allow. I use the word ‘allow’ because you’re definitely having interference. You’re definitely having — I’m going to call it a challenge. You’re having defense bump and challenge a receiver. What bothers you is the interpretation. If you’re strict with the interpretation and say, ‘You can’t touch, you can’t interfere,’ or you got another one that says, ‘Look, that’s just part of the game to have those guys going down the field battling and touching,’ which technically it is not. That’s not the rule to let them have contact at all.

“Who initiates it? Well, we all see it gets back to judgment. I voted against replay. . . . I voted against it about three times before it became permanent and I voted for it three times. And in two of those three times, or maybe four of those six times, I was the swing vote on it. The reason I did was because after a play was reversed because of replay, on Monday when it got to New York and upon further review, about a third of those plays that were reversed were again reconsidered and wouldn’t have been reversed on Monday. So it’s very hard to sit there and add another layer of judgment.

“Replay, in my mind, should be there for a very egregious situation that was just blatantly missed. I think the one in New Orleans, the one that started this rule was egregious and should have been reviewed. But to have it on every play and the will of the coach to make those calls and have it done that way is really kind of not as succinct as I’d like to see officiating.”

That’s a long way of saying the bar is very, very high — and that it’s only going to be used to overturn travesties like the one that happened in the Rams-Saints NFC Championship. The sooner coaches realize that, the sooner they’ll save their challenges and time outs.

Way too many of them are wasting their time, especially when challenging a ruling on the field of interference. But even the non-calls, which Riveron had seemed to be willing to re-officiate by looking for clear and obvious evidence of significant hindrance, aren’t being overturned when in a strict application of the standard they should be.

So that’s where we are. It’s an emergency-only option, for the rest of the year. Next year, they’ll need to keep it as an emergency option or come up with something else in order to ensure there won’t be another Rams-Saints.

15 responses to “Jerry Jones’ assessment of pass interference replay review: “Be careful what you wish for”

  1. I agree with Jerry sort of! It should be for an egregious call, something everybody sees is the wrong call made on the field.

    I like the approach the AAF used with their Shy Judge. It should not be left to a coach’s challenge.

  2. The troubling thing about replays with interference isn’t the high bar, but how arbitrarily Riveron/The NFL could deviate from that high bar at any time. There are games in which it feels as if the league favors one team over the other, and it seems like only a matter of time before a favored team receives a replay overturn that doesn’t meet this high bar.

  3. This shouldn’t be complicated. If a call is wrong, and it gets challenged, fix it. Coaches’ challenges are already limited to two, all this hand-wringing over having too many challenges is ridiculous. Replay and challenges are two very different things, people need to quit limping both of them together.

  4. I need to call an ambulance and check into the emergency room ASAP, as I find myself agreeing with everything Jerry said here.

  5. The pass interference replay is exactly what normally happnes.
    Fans clamour for a new rule, it gets implemented, fans then hate what they asked for.
    Shocker.

  6. “Emergency only” situation is if your the Saints and in the NFC championship again and we don’t want to hear your whining again. Otherwise it stands as called.

  7. That’s a long way of saying the bar is very, very high — and that it’s only going to be used to overturn travesties like the one that happened in the Rams-Saints NFC Championship. The sooner coaches realize that, the sooner they’ll save their challenges and time outs.
    ———————
    Except the bar isn’t high when the Riverton decides to take TDs off the board when there was NO challenge to PI.

    Overall it was a dumb idea to allow review of PI because of one play.

  8. So, on the one hand, he says no contact is allowed and it should be called. And then he says it should be for only the most egregious situations. And people wonder why there’s a problem?

    Yes, let’s save it for the most egregious calls. The one in a hundred thousand times we all know it’s a penalty. But everything else goes. Including what should be a penalty, but isn’t egregious enough to be called. And that’s precisely why we are all moaning about this. Dozens of calls, that could go either way, get swept up because coaches can’t help themselves but challenge plays they shouldn’t, and refs cant be consistent in interpreting the league’s direction.

    Let the boys play.

  9. The “Sky Judge” at every game is the only good answer (and NO, AL RIVERON, you are not that guy). Correct the call when it should be corrected. A simple request.

  10. Overall it was a dumb idea to allow review of PI because of one play.
    ==================================================
    Not if that one play leads to a birth in the SB and was two non calls (PI & helmet to helmet) as blatant as blatant gets. But the NFL got what they wanted the Rams in the SB.

  11. Morphed? It always was and won’t be anything other than the obvious no call PI against the Saints. Just call it the Robey-Coleman Rule!

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