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, common sense ain’t. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hopes the common sense will make periodic appearances in the application and enforcement of the new rule regarding helmet use.
After Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals, PFT’s Charean Williams asked Jones for his impressions of the prohibition on lowering the helmet to initiate and make contact with an opponent.
“Well, I didn’t like it,” Jones said. “I saw one play that our rookie running back, a run that he made and for whatever the reason we all thought, ‘Well, maybe they’re looking at that.’ Then, we thought if that were viewed as a violation of the helmet rule. . . . Well, they ran it back, and it was OK even with a closer look. But it was close enough to have everybody thinking surely he’s not going to get a penalty for that. It has you wondering or thinking surely we’re going to use common sense at the end of the day relative to lowering of the head.”
Jones is referring not to a foul called on running back Bo Scarbrough, but a foul called against 49ers defensive back Elijah Lee for a hit delivered against Scarbrough. (That’s the only time this penalty was called against either team in either of the Cowboys’ preseason games.)
It happened with roughly 4:30 remaining in the third quarter of the Week One preseason game between the two teams (the Game Pass product is invaluable when it comes to watching these plays after the fact). Scarbrough caught a short pass, and Lee converged. Lee lowered his head and initiated contact with his helmet against Scarbrough.
There’s no common sense to be applied in this case. If the rules prohibit lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet and actually making contact against an opponent with the helmet http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/connor-williams-jersey
, Lee violated the rule. As NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron explained during a visit to Friday’s #PFTPM podcast, actual intent doesn’t matter. The intent is presumed by the lowering of the helmet when approaching the opponent, with the head down and the face not up. (Riveron acknowledged that, if the player goes in with his face up and strikes the opponent with the face mask, it’s not a foul.)
This is the rule that Jones and his partners approved in March. While there may be some buyer’s remorse — especially since we’ve heard that the rule was sold as a simple extension of the prior rule against lining up an opponent and ramming him with the very top of the helmet — this is the rule.
If Jones doesn’t like the rule that he and his partners approved, he’s got 18 days to persuade them to tweak, revise, overhaul, or scrap it.
SAN FRANCISCO (0-0) at MINNESOTA (0-0)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, Fox
OPENING LINE – Vikings by 5
RECORD VS. SPREAD – San Francisco 9-7, Minnesota 12-4
SERIES RECORD – 49ers lead 23-22-1
LAST MEETING – 49ers beat Vikings 20-3 Kyle Long Jersey
, Sept. 14, 2015
AP PRO32 RANKING – 49ers No. 15, Vikings No. 3
49ERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (12), RUSH (21), PASS (9)
49ERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (24), RUSH (22), PASS (22)
VIKINGS OFFENSE – OVERALL (11), RUSH (7), PASS (11)
VIKINGS DEFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (2), PASS (2)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Vikings have won five straight games at home vs. 49ers since losing 20-17 on Dec. 13 Tyrone Crawford Jersey
, 1992. … Kyle Shanahan, starting second season as 49ers head coach, was offensive coordinator for current Vikings QB Kirk Cousins‘ first two years in NFL with Washington. … 49ers closed 2017 with five straight wins, coinciding with QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s takeover as starter. … Garoppolo, including two victories for New England, has won all seven career NFL starts. He’s one of five QBs since 1970 AFL-NFL merger with streak that long. … 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin finished third in league last season with average of 17.2 yards per catch. … RB Jerick McKinnon, who played first four years with Vikings, tore ACL in right knee in practice last week and will miss entire season. Matt Breida, with Alfred Morris backing up, takes over as primary RB. … CB Richard Sherman makes debut with 49ers, after seven years with Seattle. … Cousins makes debut with Vikings, sixth QB in six seasons to start opener following Sam Bradford T.Y. Hilton Jersey
, Shaun Hill, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder. … Cousins went 25 for 37 for 330 yards and two TDs plus rushing TD to lead Washington to 26-24 win vs. 49ers last year. … Vikings replacing primary starters at LG and RG from last year, with neck injury for Nick Easton and retirement of Joe Berger. Tom Compton and Mike Remmers are in place, with Rashod Hill taking over at RT for Remmers. … DT Sheldon Richardson, who played for Seattle last year and signed as free agent, is lone new starter on defense that led league in 2017. … Fantasy Tip: Vikings RB Dalvin Cook returns from season-ending ACL injury to left knee suffered in Week 4 of rookie year. He had 22 carries for 127 yards in season opener in 2017.
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