Roughly three years after the controversial Dez Bryant catch/no catch in the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs, the NFL still doesn’t know what a catch is.
The league has certainly added to the confusion by constantly tinkering with the rule and fostering phrases like “the ball must survive the ground.”
But it hasn’t created any clarity for players, officials and the fans.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has now decided to take the novel approach of basically starting from scratch and taking a fresh look at the rule with the competition committee this year.
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“A lot of focus this off-season is going to be on the rulebook — the catch, no catch rule, officials are officiating that correctly,” Goodell said. “There will be a lot of focus on going to the ground. We have a great opportunity to get it right.”
Goodell says he wants the competition committee to essentially start from scratch on a revised catch rule this off-season.
“From our standpoint, I would like to start back, instead of adding to the rule, subtracting to the rule, to start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start because I think when you add or subtract things you can still lead to confusion,” Goodell said.
“These rules are very complex. You have to look at what the unintended consequences are of making a change. I think we can clarify this rule. We can do it with a lot of hard work and focus and get to a place where I'm not going to tell you there won't be controversy, but I believe that we can get to a much better place.”
A better place still won’t change that outcome of the Packers game and legitimize the Bryant catch that wasn’t.