The League

David Hill
National Blogger

David Hill

A writer for the sports blog All Football 24-7

Bono to Fix Scoreboard?


The latest attention grabber by The Dallas Cowboys and Owner Jerry Jones is an interesting one -- their new stadium's scoreboard and its location in regards to getting hit during NFL games on punting situations. Each side of the to-move-or-not-to-move argument has valid points. Jones would have to shell out some big time dollars to move the scoreboard up. He already has the board 90 feet in the air, 5 feet above the NFL's regulation parameters. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can make some good points as well as to why Jones and the Cowboys should move it up. Having to replay a 4th down punt creates more injury risk to those NFL players such as the gunners running down the field. Since a play where a punt hits the scoreboard would have to be played over again, teams can strategically plan to hit the scoreboard on purpose in hopes of running precious seconds off the clock, since currently no time would be put back on the field.

What would it take for everyone to agree that the board has to be moved? Could you imagine The Cowboys up by 6 with 1:30 left in a game and they hit their own scoreboard only to have to replay the down again? This time however, the punt misses the board and the opposing team returns the punt for the winning TD giving the Cowboys a 1 point loss. That's the situation I foresee making Jones blink and be willing to move the board higher up.

With that said, I believe a compromise will come into play. The NFL will have to modify some of the rules such as putting back time on the clock for a replayed down. I would recommend charging the team who hits the scoreboard a time-out or give them a 5-yard delay of game penalty. If the team has 1 or more time-outs left in the half, charge them a time-out. If not, give them a 5 yard delay of game penalty and replay the down. The NFL could double dip off of this compromise and force a television time-out after the first attempted punt but before the replay of the down to get more commercials shown to the television viewing audience. Having a commercial break in between the two punts would give all the players on special teams a moment to catch their breaths before replaying the down.

In the meantime, it appears that the Cowboys have to move the scoreboard higher up anyway to make way for musical rock band U2's performance in October. Maybe by that time, they can leave the scoreboard where it was moved up to after the U2 concert and find a way to make everything work while the NFL and everyone keeps their fingers crossed that nothing hits the scoreboard between now and Bono's Dallas date.

By David Hill  |  August 26, 2009; 6:34 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Jerry Jones , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Why charge the team that hits the board a time-out? Is that the rule when you hit the ceiling? I think not. The board is at a legal height....You have to hit it over the wall at Fenway...

Why is everyone all up in arms about this? If anything, it will make the game more interesting.

Posted by: martintomsal | August 26, 2009 4:12 PM

Because the leauge doesnt care about interesting in that sense. Its the No Fun League for a reason.

Posted by: rcrowley15 | August 26, 2009 4:59 PM

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