Catch Rule Getting New Wording, Not Really Changing

The catch rule will now focus on whether the receiver can establish himself as a runner

The catch rule that helped end the Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 season will be clarified somewhat at the league meetings, but it won’t be changed in any meaningful way.

Essentially, the league will use different language to describe what is basically the same rule.

It’s really putting an emphasis on if you can establish yourself as a runner,” Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy said, per John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. “If you can establish that you’re a runner, then by definition you’re not going to the ground.”

Dez Bryant’s catch that wasn’t came on a 4th-and-2 late in the 4th quarter of the Divisional Round loss, and would have set the Cowboys up at the Green Bay two-yard line, poised to take the lead. But upon review, officials determined that Bryant did not make a “football move” before going to the ground and reversed the call, giving the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and co.

The term “football move” might be going away, but Murphy pointed out that Bryant’s non-catch--which came against his Packers--would have been a non-catch under the new (but not really) rule as well.

“Dez Bryant was falling to the ground,” Murphy said. “He couldn’t establish himself as a runner.”

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