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Rules, rules and more rules

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The Dallas Cowboys sure do get a lot of rules named after their players. We all know about the recently enacted Roy Williams Rule, alternatively known as the horse-collar rule. Erik Williams lent his name to the "no hands to the face mask by offensive linemen" rule, and the Emmitt Smith Rule made sure players kept their helmets on at all times while on the playing field.

So let's just call this one the Tony Romo Rule even if they were discussing before "The Bobble", or whatever you want to call it.

The Tony Romo Rule it isn't, but the NFL's competition committee will recommend at next week's owners' meetings a change to the protocol involving the ball used exclusively by kickers and punters.

The competition committee will recommend to ownership to give equipment managers 45 minutes to prepare the K balls prior to games rather than 20 in order to break them in more, said Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons general manager and co-chair of the competition committee.


But they didn't address the real problem - the Seahawks managing to slip in a brand new ball that wasn't broken in at all. OK, it's just a rumor, but it makes the story more exciting.

Here's one you may not have known - the Mel Renfro Rule.

THE MEL RENFRO RULE - For years a second offensive player could not legally catch a deflected pass unless a defensive player had touched it in the meantime. In Super Bowl V, a Johnny Unitas pass intended for Eddie Hinton was tipped, but not controlled by the wideout. Mel Renfro, Cowboys defensive back, made a stab at the ball and it was ruled that he tipped it ever so slightly (he said he didn't) into the welcoming arms of Colts HOF tight end John Mackey, who rumbled into the end zone on what was judged to be a 75-yard touchdown. No wonder a classic photograph of a lonely and dejected Renfro on the Cowboys' bench after the gut-wrenching 16-13 loss gained wide circulation. Despite the Immaculate Reception happening in Pittsburgh -- Frenchy Fuqua, Jack Tatum, Franco Harris & Co. -- a year later in a dramatic playoff game, it took the rules mavens until 1978 to allow a "double touch" by the offense.

From the RanchReport:

The Dallas Cowboys will visit with Southern California wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett, TheRanchReport.com has learned.