I think we've all found it in our heart to forgive Ed Hochuli for what happened in Denver last Sunday, and are ready to get on with the rest of the NFL season. Sure, he may have cost the Chargers a shot at the playoffs, but we can give the guy points for contrition. Right, Jerry Jones?
"Rest assured, we all see the error and the impact of a bad call like that," Jerry said. "Now, you could easily say that it rests in the competence of the official not to blow that whistle and maybe an emphasis on that would dramatically change just a real awareness and be punitive in some areas.
"You know, that guy is quick to call penalties. He's quick to draw. He's known for that. ... He's very quick. His crews call a lot of penalties. Maybe the answer is to tell people like that, 'Keep that whistle out your mouth.'"
Got that, Ed: keep that whistle out of your mouth. Jerrah's not known for his eloquence, but he might be onto something. Doug Farrar, writing for the Washington Post's Smarter Stats, points out that Hochuli's crew called 58 false starts last year to lead the NFL (Gerry Austin's crew, by comparison, only called 26).
Jerrah's solution: getting rid of whistle-happy refs and replacing them with guys who will make sure the Cowboys win a freaking playoff game. Sort of:
"My gut here is the emphasis is going to have to be taking officials like that and getting somebody else if they're going to be penalty prone," Jerry said. "Or, in that case, not penalties, but just too quick to call the play dead."
PFT points out that the NFL can fine NFL personnel, but only if there is a "suggestion that the official has motives that are less than proper." I don't think Jones has crossed that line, but he seems to love taking every opportunity to point out that Hochuli, in his mind, at least, is incompetent.