August 28, 2009

NFL rules on Dallas’ over-field scoreboard

The NFL Competition Committee said a football hitting the scoreboard over the Dallas Cowboys' new field will result in an immediate stoppage of the play.

Dallas had its first game at the $1.15 billon Cowboys Stadium last week. Tennessee punter A.J. Trapasso hit a scoreboard that is suspended over the playing surface with a kick, leading the NFL to ask for a ruling on the situation.

A release Friday said that any ball that hits the video board, supporting wires, sky cam or other object will be declared dead and the down replayed from the previous spot. Additionally, coaches will have the opportunity to challenge if they believe such interference occurred and was missed. The NFL's replay official can also call for a booth review.

We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experiences involved, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the release. The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed the subject and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer-term solution.

The bottom of the 180-foot-long video board at Cowboys Stadium is 90 feet above field level, which is 5 feet higher than the NFL minimum height for such equipment.