Sports Outside the Beltway

Tony Romo Rule

Todd Archer is dubbing it the “Tony Romo Rule.”

Well, not quite, but the NFL’s Competition Committee will request to the owners that the time before games equipment guys will have 45 minutes instead of 20 to work on the K ball.

Conspiracy theorists maintained Seattle slipped a new, shiny K ball into action before what would have been the game-winning field goal attempt and eventually slipped out of Tony Romo’s grasp. “We want to do everything we can to eliminate that perception,” Atlanta GM and co-chair of the Competition Committee Rich McKay said

McKay said the change was talked about before the Cowboys’ mishap. He added that the balls will also be numbered in order to be used sequentially so the kickers and punters will be working with footballs that are not fresh out of the box.

The K-ball has been in play since 1997, so it’s no exactly a new phenomenon. It is, however, one that has altered the game. Because the ball is brand new and much harder, it has a smaller “sweet spot.” The result has been that fewer field goals over 50 yards are being attempted than in the old days.

My understanding is that the K-ball is under the control of League officials–indeed, the whole point was to preclude teams trying give their kickers an advantage by manipulating the surface and amount of air in the ball–not the home team.

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