Jones’ toy overpowers NFL

Published 10:52 pm Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roger Goodell’s proved he can stand up to a lot of people during his short tenure as the NFL’s commissioner.

Unfortunately, he’s had a lot of stuff to go through when it comes to telling people around the NFL where they can go. He’s disciplined players from Pacman Jones to Michael Vick to Donte Stallworth; and even coaches, most notably Bill Belichick. Most of it, he’s seemed to have gotten right and the awesome juggernaut that is the NFL keeps chugging along.

The commish bailed out when it came to standing up to Dallas owner Jerry Jones last week. Instead, Jones said, in effect, it’s my billion-dollar stadium and it’s more important than you, nah, nah, nah, nah. And Jones got away with telling off Goodell practically to his face.

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The mega-scoreboard that Tennessee punters, according to Jones, intentionally tried to hit, needs to be moved higher. It’ll be moved higher in early October for a concert at the new Cowboys Stadium. At the least, Goodell could’ve declared the Cowboys must leave the scoreboard higher after it’s moved for the concert and the do-over rule would have to suffice until then.

Instead, Jones will move his big baby up for U2, but then move it right back so punters can go back to their secret conspiracy to win games or cost Jones money or embarrass Jones or whatever opposition punters will get out of hitting the scoreboard with their punts.

Jones even went as far as to use the following as a valid reason for the NFL to stay away from his big toy: “If you look at how you punt the football, unless you’re trying to hit the scoreboard, you punt the ball to get downfield. You certainly want to get some hangtime, but you punt the ball to get downfield, and you sure don’t punt the ball down the middle. You punt it off to the side.”

Let’s keep that in mind when Dallas punter Mat McBriar punts the ball down the middle of the field this season, or has to kick a pooch punt inside the 20, because that would be a first in a football game. Just remember, McBriar’s defying the orders of his special teams coach, I mean, team owner.

Whatever strategy and tactics Jones seems to like at the moment is what the league should mandate when it comes to field and stadium specifications and rules. Perhaps next preseason, Jones will want to put multiple receivers in motion on every play, the NFL will go along with it, and Goodell can change the league’s name to the Canadian Football League.