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NFL Owners Approve Reviewing Pass Interference Calls

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UPI Photo/Jim Bryant
UPI

March 26 (UPI) — NFL owners approved a new rule that will allow replay reviews on pass interference calls, as well as non-calls.

Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones told the NFL Networkthat coaches can now challenge pass interference calls or non-calls outside of the two-minute warning in each half. The booth will automatically review any controversial interference penalty or non-call inside of two minutes.

Both offensive and defensive pass interference calls are now challengeable, according to ESPN. The new rule will go into effect for at least the 2019 season.

The vote for the replay review changes among NFL owners was 31-1, with the Cincinnati Bengals being the only team to vote against the rule, according to the NFL Network.

“People compromised on long-held views because people wanted to get it right,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters.

Last season’s NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams ended with a controversial missed pass interference call. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman appeared to hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived, but a flag wasn’t thrown on the play. The Saints settled for a field goal and eventually lost in overtime.

“This is what I wanted to happen. That’s why I made my statement,” Saints owner Gayle Benson told reporters. “[The non-call in the title game] will never happen again.”

The new rule change would allow on-field officials to change a critical pass interference ruling. There were 249 pass interference calls last season, according to NFLPenalties.com.

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