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Jones: Refs 'screwed up' Seahawks' consecutive TOs

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was less than pleased with how game officials handled a tricky sequence just before halftime of Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Seahawks.

Jones told David Helman of the team's official website that the refs "screwed up" after Seattle called consecutive timeouts inside the two-minute warning.

The first timeout came with 1:38 left in period. After the break, with Dallas lining up for a 35-yard field goal, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll attempted to call a second timeout to avoid being flagged for too many men on the field.

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As Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com first noted, Rule 4, Section 5, Item 3 of the league rulebook prohibits consecutive timeouts within the same dead ball period for the same team. Per official rules, the refs are instructed to ignore the timeout request and allow play to continue. That's not what happened, though, with an official stopping the clock to inform Carroll that he couldn't call consecutive timeouts.

So why weren't the Seahawks flagged? According to Rule 4, Section 5, Item 4, a penalty would only be triggered if officials viewed the second timeout as an attempt to "freeze" the kicker, something Carroll wasn't trying to do.

Seattle shouldn't have been flagged for having too many players on the field, either. That only applies when there are more than 11 players in a huddle or on the field at the time of the snap. There was no snap.

The officials, though, should have kept the clock running while paying no attention to Carroll's attempt to stop the game. In theory, Dallas could have attempted to snap the ball before Seattle got its extra players off the field.

In the end, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey successfully nailed the field goal to trim Seattle's lead to 10-6. Jones might not be thrilled with how the sequence was handled, but the Cowboys can only blame themselves for Sunday's loss.

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