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Four years ago in Baltimore, Dawson kicked a 51-yarder on the final play of regulation that bounced off the left upright and caromed off the rear “gooseneck” attachment behind the crossbar. The attempt was originally ruled no good, but the officials reversed the call following a discussion even though the play was not technically reviewable.

The next year, a rule change was made to allow certain field goals to be reviewed by instant replay. It was dubbed the “Phil Dawson Rule.”

Dawson feels fixing one of pro football’s judging problems could be solved with an assist from baseball, which has increasingly embraced the use of technology to aid umpires, though not on ball-and-strike calls.

“They have the strike zone box,” he said. “Why not just have a grid and it will show you exactly where the ball hit the grid? If it hits the grid, it’s good. But at the end of the day, every penalty flag thrown is subjective to a degree and there is human error, that’s the game we play and whether you can reduce that effect or eliminate it, I don’t know how reasonable that is.

“Fortunately, these type kicks don’t happen very often. You could imagine if it happened in a Super Bowl.”


AP Sports Writers Jon Krawczynski in Eden Prairie, Minn.; Joseph White in Ashburn, Va.; Joe Kay in Cincinnati; and Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.