Cowboys say NFL referees' settlement will help flow of the game



Bio | Email


Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:24 PM

DALLAS -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed relieved that a settlement was reached with the NFL referees Wednesday.

"Do I look relieved?" Goodell said during a press conference. "Absolutely, these are difficult."

The reaction in the Cowboys locker room was positive.

"Hallelujah, hallelujah," said Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher.

"Glad they're back," added Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears.

The offense was also ready to see the regular refs in uniform this weekend.

"Welcome back from your lockout," said Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers.

Many football fans were angry about calls made by the replacement referees, especially after Monday night’s game in Seattle.

Goodell said that game was another factor that helped push the league and the union toward an agreement.

"They were very anxious to get back on the field," Goodell said. "I know how much pride they have in what they do, and what they do to prepare themselves. I'm certain that they're in shape. They made that point that they were all in shape."

There is a feeling now that the business of the National Football League is finally getting back to normal.

"It was getting to a point [where] players and people outside of football were looking at the refs and saying, 'Can they really handle their jobs?' and 'Can they really do what’s necessary?'" said Cowboys guard Derrick Dockery.

The referees will be back on the job for the Browns-Ravens game in Baltimore Thursday night. It shows how anxious they are to get back on the job, and it also shows how important the league thinks the real referees are to the game.

"To have these guys back that have been doing it a long time, I’m pretty sure things go a lot smoother and we'll be able to get into the flow of a game better," Spears said.

Hatcher said the real refs showed their value in the lockout.

"For them to being missing and seeing those guys miss a lot of calls, those guys are worth everything they wanted," Hatcher said.

The referee’s ratification vote will come during meetings near D/FW Airport this weekend. But they can expect to hear more about the lockout this weekend.

"I'm just excited they're going to be back out there," Vickers said. "I can talk a little smack to them."