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NFL passes automatic ejection rule for 2016 season

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The NFL Competition Committee on Wednesday voted in a pair of significant rule changes for 2016.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that league owners passed the automatic ejection rule suggested by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Starting this season, any player flagged for two specific unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in a game will be automatically ejected. Rapoport reported last week that the proposal was expected to go through after a discussion on which penalties would count toward an ejection. The committee was expected to pick from a short list of infractions.

Also voted in was a proposal to change the spot of the snap after a touchback to the 25-yard line. Both rules will be treated as one-year experiments. 

On Tuesday, the owners agreed at the NFL Annual Meeting to abolish any and all "chop" style blocks, a move that thrilled plenty of defensive players league-wide. The NFL also passed the following rule changes this week:

» Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay announced Wednesday a tweak to the injury reserve-designated to return rule. Now, teams do not have to designate a player to return when they place him on injured reserve. Players still have to be on IR for at least six weeks before they can be boomeranged, though.

» Offensive and defensive play-callers are permitted to use the headset communication system whether they are on the field or in the booth.

» A horse-collar tackle has been expanded to include the area "at the nameplate and above."

» A team will be flagged for delay of game if they attempt to call a timeout when they are not allowed to.

» The NFL has eliminated the 5-yard penalty for "an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down."

» The NFL has eliminated "multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession."

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