Jerry Jones says NFL is where 'the men are playing,' players are paid to incur risks


FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says the NFL needs to find a balance with its new roughing the passer rules.

He is all for safety but the application of the new rule that bars pass rushers from landing with their body weight on opposing quarterbacks has changed the game "as much as any one (rule) I have seen make a change from our past."

Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan that future pro football should distinguish itself from college and high school football because the players are being paid to incur risk and it's where the men are playing.

"The way I see our future is I see a real serious emphasis on youth football, amateur football," Jones said. "I see it reflected at the high school level. And then a step above that will be the collegiate level, and I see a collegiate game that certainly has a lot of finesse in it, but is a great game and makes these kinds of adjustments we're talking about. But when it comes to pro football, to use a boxing term, that's when you put the six-ounce gloves on. That's when you don't want to fight with those 10-ounce or you don't fight with those head gears.

"Everybody is really being paid to go out and you're paid a lot of money to go out and incur those type of situations that have more risk in them. It's real important that pro football distinguish itself as a very physical game relative to the game in college, relative to the game in high school and amateur. That's very important. Now, where to find that balance, that's one thing. But when we finish or when we get to a point in the future in time, you'll see pro football where they put the six-ounce gloves on and the men are playing."

Jones was critical of a roughing the passer penalty on Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford in Sunday's 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Jones said after the game that it was not roughing under the existing rules, pointing out that the application of the new rule is a growing problem.

Jones may be on time something.

Per multiple media reports, a competition committee conference call scheduled for next week will address concerns about the new roughing language.

Several members of the committee are reportedly unhappy with the new and inconsistent emphasis on the penalty. The rule won't be changed but fewer calls could be made.

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones is on the committee.