Goodell won't make Cowboys raise big screen

August, 28, 2009
8/28/09
1:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

A week after a free-agent rookie punter for the Titans bounced a kick off Jerry Jones' gigantic video board at Cowboys Stadium, the NFL has tweaked its rule book. And you shouldn't be surprised that commissioner Roger Goodell ruled in Jones' favor.

Here's a look at the changes:

  • If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.
  • If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the 2-minute warning. If, prior to the 2-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach's challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.
  • In the event the down is replayed:
(a) The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred.
(b) All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls which will be administered prior to replaying the down.


Rule 3, Section 1 of the Official NFL Playing Rules provides for an official ruling to be implemented "in the interim between the annual rules meeting" that is "official only during the current season." This Official Ruling expires at the conclusion of the 2009 postseason.

"We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved," Goodell said. "The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed this subject, and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer term resolution."

The Cowboys have also been cooperative in partnering with the City of Arlington to build a $1.2 billion stadium in a remarkably tough economic climate. Goodell recognizes the positive impact that has on the league and the last thing he wanted to do was force Jones to make immediate changes -- especially since the commissioner's office signed off on the video board's specifications.

For anyone who doubts how much power Jones has in the league, this situation clears that up. Competition committee members Jeff Fisher and Bill Polian were muzzled this week after suggesting the board needed to be raised.

The league may change the rule for next season, but for now, Jones can leave his board right where it is.

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