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NFL competition committee to look at Elliott penalty

Jerry Jones isn't happy that Ezekiel Elliott became the only offensive player to ever be called for a helmet-to-helmet penalty

DALLAS — The NFL competition committee will look at the helmet-to-helmet rule that caused Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to incur a 15-yard penalty early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 29-23 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium.

With 11:32 to go in regulation, Elliott caught a 14-yard swing pass in the right flat from quarterback Dak Prescott. As Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill and defensive back Corey Graham tackled Elliott, the running back lowered his helmet prior to contact. Referee John Parry's crew flagged Elliott for a 15-yard personal foul, "lower helmet to initiate contact." Because of the penalty, Elliott became the 11th player in the NFL this season to incur the infraction and the first offensive player in the league this season.

On 105.3 "The Fan" [KRLD-FM] Tuesday, Cowboys owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones said the competition committee will be looking into that particular interpretation of the personal foul.

"I know they're looking at it," said Jones. "I know one member that is is [Cowboys COO] Stephen Jones that is on the competition committee, and we disagree with -- we agree with trying to be protect the, whether it be the defensive player or offensive player."

According to Jones, both Elliott and the Eagles defenders should have been flagged for the penalty, not just the running back.

Said Jones: "In this particular case, if you're going to call that you, in my mind, both sides should have got the penalty. But that's real hard. I think Zeke was protecting himself. Zeke protects himself by being aggressive himself. And he tries to deliver a harder blow than he's getting."

Elliott received more than a penalty on the play. The third-year running back from Ohio State was checked out by trainers on the sidelines after he was slow to get up. The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft had a neck issue following the game, but coach Jason Garrett told reporters Monday he doesn't believe the ailment will linger as the Cowboys face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"Anybody that's played the game knows that you come out better on the collision if you have the most emphasis in the blow," said Jones. "And, so, I don't believe you're going to be able to call a play like that an infraction, certainly that you don't call it on both of them. I've studied it, looked over it pretty good [Monday]. I don't believe that's what we intended when we were talking about protecting the head area on a play."

The NFL owners winter meetings will take place in Las Colinas on Wednesday. The competition committee will meet briefly and the Joneses will have a chance to make their case then. Any changes to the rules overall cannot be made until the NFL spring owners meetings in March 2019 after the new league year has commenced.

Do you think Ezekiel Elliott should have been called for a penalty on the play? Share your thoughts on the helmet-to-helmet rule with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.