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Cowboys Ask Officials To Join Practice In Effort To Clean Up Penalties

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In an attempt to get their penalties under control, the Cowboys will have officials at today's practice. Gerry Fraley from the DMN reports that it is not yet clear at what levels exactly these officials work and quotes Keith Brooking, who welcomes this new angle:

"We need to improve on our mistakes and penalties," inside linebacker Keith Brooking said. "During practice, you don't see it when it happens. ... Seeing it with the refs, professionals who focus on that, ... it's important. I think it can help."

So far this season, the Cowboys are third in the league with 49 penalties and lead the league with 30 offensive penalties. Calvin Watkins from ESPNDallas.com has this little nugget from Mike Jenkins:

"We got refs, we got refs, it's going to be good," said cornerback Mike Jenkins, who has been called for four pass interference penalties this season. "I'm going to ask a lot of questions today and I'm also going to ask them to watch the receivers coming out of their breaks."

Jean Jacques Taylor, also from the DMN, suggested in March this year that one way for the Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl was to hire Mike Pereira, who retired as the NFL VP of Officiating in May.

Who better to help the Cowboys reduce all the senseless, debilitating penalties they've committed over the last decade more than the man who has been in charge of NFL officials since 2001 and spent two seasons as a side judge? It makes perfect sense.

Besides, Pereira wants to coach. At least that's what he recently told Sports Illustrated 's Peter King. "I believe penalties have a bigger impact on the game than anyone realizes," Pereira said. "I'm fascinated by the coaching aspect of it, of trying to cut down the penalties."

Better late than never.