Pass interference rule unlikely to be changed to 15-yard penalty

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A proposal to change the NFL's defensive pass interference rule to a 15-yard penalty, rather than a spot foul, does not appear to have enough support to pass this week at the league's owners meetings.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara said that he was one of the few competition committee members to support the proposal, which originated with the New York Jets. The committee did not endorse the rule, a sign that it would be difficult to rally at least 24 owners to support it, as required by NFL rules.

"I don't think anything will happen on that," Mara said. "I happen to be in the minority. I prefer the 15-yard penalty, but most people prefer [the current rule]."

Dallas Cowboys executive Stephen Jones, also a member of the competition committee, said members voted against the proposal 6-2, according to the Washington Post.

The Jets' proposal would make all defensive pass interference fouls a 15-yard penalty unless the contact is "intentional and egregious," in which case the ball would be spotted where the foul occurred. That stipulation would presumably lessen the incentive for defensive backs to commit a foul to avoid a long pass play.

The rule proposal has long been considered highly unlikely to pass, in part because of the new level of judgment levied on officials to determine "intentional and egregious" contact. But executive vice president Troy Vincent said last week that it had gained "momentum" among some committee members and coaches who want to avoid long, game-changing penalties. Of the 303 defensive pass interference penalties in the 2017 season, 129 were marked off more than 15 yards.