Dallas Cowboys: Did Stephen Jones hint at Roughing the Passer rule change?

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys hits Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys hits Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones hints that the NFL may consider reviewing how the roughing the passer penalty is enforced.

The Dallas Cowboys were flagged on the third defensive play of the game against the Seattle Seahawks for a 2017 textbook tackle by defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford for a roughing the passer penalty that extended the Seahawks’ first drive.

Later in the game, the Cowboys were on the receiving end of the official’s generosity when a late push on quarterback Dak Prescott gifted Dallas 15 yards.

During the Fox broadcast, Joe Buck stated that Cowboys Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel, Stephen Jones, a member of the NFL Competition Committee, indicated that the Competition Committee will likely review the roughing the passer penalty.

According to Todd Archer from ESPN, the rule change can’t come soon enough for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

"Owner and general manager Jerry Jones was not pleased Tyrone Crawford was penalized for roughing the passer on Seattle’s third play from scrimmage. “That was not roughing the passer under the existing rules,” Jones said, however, referee Carl Cheffers determined Crawford landed with his body weight on top of Russell Wilson."

It would not be an understatement that these roughing the passer penalties are impacting the game’s integrity. In Week 2, the Green Bay Packers were denied a certain win when linebacker Clay Matthews was incredulously flagged for a hit that almost every NFL fan, except maybe Minnesota Vikings fans, would have admitted was a clean tackle.

So must wonder when flag ribbons will be placed around the quarterback’s waist in an all-out effort to prevent any quarterback touching?

While it is impossible to go back in time and replay the Seahawks game, one could wonder what might have happened had Seattle been forced to punt from their 12-yard line early in the first quarter. Could the resulting field position have set up the Cowboys for the early success this team seems to need?

A penalty, by its nature, has two main purposes. It is designed to penalize one team for impeding the chances of the other team to make a play. The second purpose is to ensure player safety. While Stephen Jones and the NFL’s Competition Committee are considering rules changes, I have three more suggestions for their attention.

First, if quarterbacks are given the maximum protection with the many “new” ways in which a roughing the passer penalty is called, I propose that a turnover on a play with roughing the passer will stand when the infraction occurs after the ball is thrown.

The 15-yard penalty would be enforced from the spot of the turnover recovery and there will be a change of possession.  When the quarterback passes the ball, there is no direct impact preventing the offense from catching the ball when the quarterback is hit by the defense.

Second, when the punt receiving team commits a holding penalty when the ball has been kicked, the flag will be picked up if the punt receiving team fair catches the ball without the ball touching the ground. The punt receiving team gained no advantage for the infraction.

Last, defensive pass interference will remain an automatic first down but infractions occurring beyond 15 yards from the line of scrimmage will be capped at 15 yards.  If offensive pass interference is only a 10-yard penalty, it would stand the test of reason to not penalize the defense 40 to 50 yards in some cases for a similar foul.

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The rules of the game have evolved from the beginning of time.  At one point, the forward pass was illegal.  I would like to hear your thoughts on what other rule changes you would propose.  Tweet me at @BallingRU with your suggestions.