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Jerry Jones wants to see “discretion” in how NFL games are officiated

After a final season spent without fans in the Superdome, the Saints were finally able to honor the career of Super Bowl XLIV champ Drew Brees in front of a full house.

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones was not a fan of the “throw up ball” he saw in his team’s penalty-fest of a Thanksgiving loss to the Raiders. And Jones indicated that the real issue is not the NFL’s rules, but over-officious officials.

Jones said he can’t fault the Raiders for the way their deep balls drew so many pass interference penalties, but he does think the NFL’s rules incentivize under-thrown passes to draw flags, and that the officials don’t need to throw a flag on every bit of ticky-tack contact.

“To their credit, I think [the Raiders] just did a real good job of getting their big plays, and a bunch of them were penalties in the throwing game,” Jones said, via the Star-Telegram. “They took advantage of it, and I think it influenced the win. We had some plays go with us too, it wasn’t like it didn’t go against them. So again, this is really not a criticism of the rules. It is a criticism of the discretion of how you use them and what play. Everybody knows you can call a penalty on every play many different ways, every time the ball snapped. And so you have to have a feel for what you’re trying to do in the ball game and this one turned out that way.”

The officials didn’t quite call a penalty on every play on Thanksgiving, but at times it felt that way. Still, until the officiating affects the popularity of the sport, the league doesn’t have much incentive to change things. And if there’s one thing we know from the Raiders-Cowboys game, the NFL remains staggeringly popular.