NFL: Dallas Cowboys' scoreboard can stay put
11:02 AM CDT on Friday, August 28, 2009
By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News
The NFL has decided not to take any action for this season regarding the Dallas Cowboys’ digital scoreboard that hangs 90 feet over the field at their new stadium.
In a memo sent to every team, Commissioner Roger Goodell said if a punt hits the board – or any guidewire, skycam or any other object at any other stadium – the down will be replayed, just as the rule stated before Tennessee’s A.J. Trapasso’s kick nailed it last week in the first football game at the stadium.
The do-over rule will be in place for the rest of this season, including Saturday’s preseason game against San Francisco and through the playoffs. However, the issue could be re-visited in the future.
“We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved,” Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
All along, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the board did not need to be raised and that in a “competitive game situation,” it would not be a factor. The Cowboys believe Trapasso was intentionally attempting to hit the board after he and Craig Hentrich hit it in pregame warmups. Cowboys punter Mat McBriar has said the scoreboard would not affect him.
Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who is the co-chair of Competition Committee, said he believed the board needed to be moved even though it rests five feet above the minimum set by the league.
The one concession the league made was to allow the replay assistant to call for a review if the on-field officials did not see the ball hit the board. Normally the replay assistant can only stop play in the final two minutes of each half for a review. If a coach believes the ball hit the board, then he would be able to use a replay challenge even if the replay assistant does not stop play.
If the down is replayed, the game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred and all penalties will be disregarded, except personal fouls, which will be administered prior to the snap.
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