Jones weighed in on championship weekend’s officiating controversies, questioning how the referees overturned the Chiefs fourth-quarter fumble recovery.
The topic of NFL replays–potential expansion, missed calls, pass interference reviews–has taken the world by storm following both of Sunday’s conference championship games.
While the focus has mostly been on the no-call during the NFC Championship game on what should have been a pass interference penalty on the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is confused about another call.
During the AFC championship, a muffed fourth-quarter punt by New England’s Julian Edelman was ruled a fumble on the field but was overturned after referees determined that Edelman hadn’t touched the ball.
When asked about the officiating in Sunday’s games, Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he still doesn’t understand what Al Riveron, the NFL’s supervisor of officials, saw on replay to overturn the fumble, which the Chiefs had recovered at the New England 28.
Jones said he didn’t see enough conclusive evidence to support the decision.
“The call on the punt, whether he touched it, you can never get it right, because it was called on the field as a touch and then later, you couldn’t see an angle that he definitely touched it,” Jones told the Star-Telegram. “But the rule says you’re supposed to go with the call on the field if you can’t see an angle that he didn’t touch it. I don’t know if you can get everything [right].”
The Chiefs went on to lose to the Patriots in overtime.
Despite his confusion, Jones, who has seen his Cowboys through their own share of controversial calls, still said he doesn’t want replay to expand to officiating.
“At the end of the day, it’s the official’s call and you live with that,” Jones said. “You depend on the integrity of the official, not necessarily his ability to make every call right or wrong. You assume that, and rightfully so, that there are no biases, and he’s just trying to make the right call. That’s part of sport.”
His son Stephen Jones, a member of hte NFL’s competition committee, echoed his father’s sentiments.
“It’s certainly a challenge because there is human error,” Stephen said. “You don’t want to officiate from replay all parts of the game. I don’t think that, at the end of the day, is good for the game. So, we’ve got a lot of work to do here in the offseason and we’ll certainly look at the full body of work this year and see what the things that we should focus on.”