The Eagles’ proposal to offer teams an onside kick alternative did not get approved by NFL owners today. 

That rule change proposal has been tabled for now, according to several reports, and would not have had enough support if it came up for a vote. 

That’s a shame. Because it would have been a fun rule change. The proposed rule would have allowed teams to have an untimed 4th-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line to retain possession. They would have been able to do that twice per game in regulation. 

On Wednesday, I outlined why the rule would have given the Eagles an advantage on offense

And despite what you might think, it also would have given them an advantage on defense. Over the last four years, the Eagles have the second-best defense in the NFL in 3rd- and 4th-and-15-plus situations. Excluding kicks, they have allowed first downs on just 6.0% of those plays. 

While that proposal from the Eagles didn’t pass, they had one that did. In total, three new playing rules and one bylaw rule passed:

• From the Eagles: To make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt. 

(This rule was implemented on a trial basis and it’s now permanent) 

• From competition committee: Expands defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.


• From competition committee: Prevents teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running. 

• The bylaw change increases the number of players teams are allowed to return from Injured Reserve per season from two to three.

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