Jerry Jones set to escape fine from NFL after Cowboys owner’s Halloween dig at NFL referees

The NFL is not known to let things slide, even if it comes from one of their more prominent members in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

On Halloween, Jones dressed up as a blind referee, clearly to mock what he feels is a lack of competence coming from the NFL’s officiating this season.

According to the New York Post, Jones was particularly proud of his costume:

“Oh yeah, I had the cane and everything. And I used it on some people, too.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with the epic troll Halloween costume. A blind ref.Hope @nfl has a sense of humor

However, while this may come off as a lighthearted joke, it could have possibly violated the NFL’s rules.

According to a memo sent out in 2019, this kind of joke is prohibited:

“Comments regarding the quality of officiating, individual calls or missed calls, the League’s officiating department, an officiating crew, or an individual game official; [a]ccusing game officials of acting with bias or in any way questioning the integrity of NFL game officials; or [p]osting negative or derogatory/demeaning content pertaining to officiating on social media.”

Under normal circumstances, it would mean a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine for the Cowboys owner.

In this circumstance, however, according to the Daily Mail, the NFL seems to be in a giving spirit. Jones, then, is likely to escape any action from the league.

Why can’t Jerry Jones poke fun at NFL referees?

Referees are often the butt of jokes and even more often directly blamed for losses by players, fans and coaches. As a result, the NFL stepped in to try and protect them with the aforementioned memo.


It is true that referees need to be held accountable for mistakes. It usually doesn’t directly correlate to wins or losses, but their mistakes can influence a game. However, the NFL has asked that that not be done publicly.

Referees take enough slack and the NFL wants to protect them from it coming from high profile members of the league.


Additionally, the league may want to protect referees so they don’t look bad. If coaches, players and front office members are constantly criticizing the officiating, then the league looks bad.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles

Poor officiating means the NFL doesn’t care as much about fairness or about the product they’re putting on the field. In typical NFL fashion, they’ve decided to prohibit something, rather than try and make the change they might need to.

If you use any of the above quotes, please credit the New York Post, the Daily Mail, and H/T Sportskeeda.

Edited by Zachary Roberts

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