Should NFL reinstate an emergency QB rule after 49ers playoff disaster? Cowboys’ Jerry Jones is in favor

Should NFL reinstate an emergency QB rule after 49ers playoff disaster? Cowboys’ Jerry Jones is in favor

MOBILE, Ala. –Nearly 12 years after the rule was revoked, momentum for a change swirled Sunday afternoon during the NFC Championship Game.

Should the NFL dictate to teams having a third quarterback available on their game day rosters? Or maybe at least for playoff games?

Cowboys team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he would support the directive.

“I’m definitely all for having a third quarterback in the game,” Jones told Yahoo Sports Wednesday during Senior Bowl practices. “I would be pro. I’ve always been for the quarterback and increasing the number. I would be for that.

To be clear, as Jones mentioned, NFL teams can dress a third quarterback for games right now. But the requirement to do so was revoked before the 2011 season.

From 1991 to 2010, the NFL required teams to designate an emergency third quarterback on their game day roster who, if he came in before the fourth quarter, would judge the first two quarterbacks. of the team ineligible to play the remainder of the match. The league later removed this rule and instead expanded game day rosters from 45 players to 46. Teams were no longer required to provide tertiary depth at the quarterback, but free to choose whether to continue carrying three quarterbacks or dedicate that spot. at depth in another possibly injury-laden position, such as lineman.

The result: NFL teams rarely have an active third quarterback in games.

In the San Francisco 49ers’ NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles, it proved costly.

The rule, for San Francisco, would have been of limited help. The 49ers were already entering their third quarterback of the season after Trey Lance fractured his ankle and Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot. In the conference championship game, seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy tore a ligament (UCL) in his throwing elbow, then veteran journeyman Josh Johnson was ruled out with concussion.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) was one of two 49ers QBs injured in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, which left the team in dire straits. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 49ers were forced to choose between all-purpose weapon Christian McCaffrey moving to Wildcat quarterback or Purdy playing under center while unable to throw with force or depth. All-Pro tight end George Kittle admitted the team’s playbook was essentially down to 15 games.

The story continues

Limitations condemned San Francisco to a 31-7 loss in a game Philadelphia had listed as a 2.5-point favorite.

Jones said he expects league management to revise the rule this offseason. A possible change could be the addition of a quarterback spot to the current game day roster number, at a minimum for the playoffs.

The league changed overtime rules to allow both teams to have at least one playoff possession after the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to beat the Buffalo Bills last postseason in an overtime where the Bills offense never had the ball. Could a similar pattern follow?

“It’s the best way to initiate and the best way to make decisions is when you have examples at, I would say, very sensitive times,” Jones said of the rule changes that impacted playoff results. “And boy, we don’t want quarterbackless teams in these games where 50 million people are watching.”

The league introduced more flexibility in roster restrictions in 2020 as COVID-19 sidelined players throughout the year. Practice squads were expanded, veteran practice squad rules were relaxed, and teams were given the option to elevate practice squad players to the active roster at the end of the week.

A similar structure for a quarterback rule could protect teams from quarterbacking emergencies while preventing teams from hiding an unreasonable collection of single-position talent — in a league where, arguably, supply is already insufficient.

If players remained on practice squads during the week, only to be elevated at the end of the week as emergency quarterbacks, opponents willing to commit to them on their 53-man roster could still poach them. .

“You can, as we’ve seen during COVID, you can add [players]”, Jones said. “The Union wants there to be a lot more players on the rosters. So from a club perspective you want to be really efficient with the number of players you have in your squad. It would expand that. You say, OK, what you have is another quarterback on the roster, maybe you put one on the practice squad.

“But I agree that we can’t ignore when we have a team that lacks a quarterback.”

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