- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones won't accept ignorance of the "Emmitt Smith rule" as an excuse.
Dez Bryant wasn't aware of the rule until he picked up a personal foul Sunday for removing his helmet while discussing an offensive pass-interference call with an official, costing the Cowboys 15 yards and knocking them out of field goal range.
"That's the Emmitt Smith rule," Jones said Tuesday morning on KRLD-FM. "The Dallas Cowboy players should know that one better than any team in the league. When players don't know rules, that's a joint fault of coaching as well as the player."
The rule, which forbids players from taking off their helmets while on the field except during timeouts, between quarters or in case of injury, was instituted in 1997 to cut down on taunting. It was named after the all-time leading rusher because of Smith's habit of removing his helmet while celebrating touchdowns.
After Dallas' win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Bryant admitted he had no idea the rule existed until he was flagged, much to the delight of defensive end Jared Allen, who laughed and applauded when Bryant took off his helmet.
"All I know is, I know next time," Bryant said. "I learned my lesson."