On the heels of a disastrous loss for the Cowboys with heavy playoff implications, Jerry Jones chose a strange time to make a bold statement on officials.
Losing to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday will sting the Dallas Cowboys for a while. The opportunity to claim a higher seed in the playoffs was there for the taking, but now the Cowboys will likely have to deal with the fourth overall seed and a much more difficult path to the Super Bowl.
This is not the end of the world, especially when looking at what the Buccaneers did last season, but what-ifs always hurt.
While neither side of the ball played perfectly for Dallas, it is hard not to put some of the blame on the refs. Of course, the old adage is never to play a game close enough to let the refs take control, but the NFL officiating has reached a new level of atrocious this season, and the league needs to do something about it.
Every week, it seems like a new fanbase is infuriated by phantom calls or missed whistles. There have been some downright terrible calls this season that heavily impact games (see the missed fumble by the Cardinals), and some people believe that the job needs to change from the top if we want to see positive results.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he doesn’t believe there will be a difference in part-time vs full-time referees
The widely-supported solution is that the NFL needs full-time referees. This would allow the body to spend the entirety of their time on developing rules and learning the ins and outs of how they work in a way that part-time employees can’t reach.
On its face, this idea is grounded in sound reason, but Jerry Jones doesn’t see it that way. Jones said in an interview the other day that he sees no difference in the quality of part-time versus full-time workers. Really?
Part-time changes the equation entirely. Full-time workers base many parts of their lives around their careers. Part-time workers have focuses that are in many other directions. Does the guy with a day job as a lawyer give his full attention to the NFL and its rules? This is not to say that part-time officials can’t be great, but players, coaches, and everyone else in the sport spend their entire year on football. There are no part-time coaches or players. Why should this be the case for refs?
Full-time referees would be held to a higher standard and would be under greater scrutiny. This may add pressure to the job, but it has become too much of a story for the NFL world to ignore this any longer.
Teams like the Cowboys have seen the losing end of this deal on more than one occasion and it needs to stop. Of all the people on the planet, Jerry Jones should use his voice to support the change rather than maintain the status quo that negatively impacts his own team.