|What has two thumbs and isn't concerned about the replacement refs? Yep, that guy. (AP)|
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones may have had a prominent role in ending last summer's lockout with the players but he will have no such involvement with the officials, who are currently embroiled in their own lockout. He went so far as to say before the first preseason game that he wasn't concerned about the replacement refs, even though he appears to be in the minority on this matter.
Jones reiterated his position this week during radio appearance telling 103.5 The Fan (via PFT.com) “No I'm not (worried). As long as it's the same for both sides -- and it will be -- we'll be all right. And they're going to get better as they move along.”
Some observers might point out that it would be impossible for the replacement officials to get worse. Still, despite the mistakes -- both minor and egregious -- Jones says he hasn't noticed much of a difference.
“I haven't, really, because I can take any game at this juncture in any year and come up with criticism of the officiating,” he said.
“It's subjective in so many areas, and we've got in place a pretty good backup system now with our replays, and when it's replayed. If anything, I've seen in a couple of our games the replay procedure needs improvement. ... That has, in my mind, nothing to do with these replacement officials.”
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Here's the problem with relying on replay as a "pretty good backup system": it won't fix injuries. And that -- not a flubbed coin toss or not knowing the definition of "touchback" -- is what concerns players most.
It's something Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka addressed during an appearance on ROME last week. Jim Rome asked Kiwanuka if safety was now a concern with the replacement officials. "I think over time that's the danger that we end up being in," he said. "Because you don't know how refs are going to respond to certain calls so if you have guys out there who are taking liberties with the lack of calls then, yeah, we're going to be at risk."
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