Red Zone

NFL’s VP of officiating reportedly seen on Cowboys ‘party bus’

Dean Blandino, NFL’s vice president of officiating, began a training session during the Annual NFL Officiating Clinic in Irving, Texas in July.
Dean Blandino, NFL’s vice president of officiating, began a training session during the Annual NFL Officiating Clinic in Irving, Texas in July. The Associated Press

The NFL’s head of officiating may be in a heap of trouble.

Earlier this week, TMZ posted video of Cowboys chief operating officer/director of player personnel Stephen Jones (son of owner Jerry Jones) arriving at a West Hollywood nightclub in a bus bearing the team’s logo.

Naturally, it was labeled a “party bus.”

No big deal, right? Stephen Jones can do as he likes, right?

Sure, but someone noticed another person on the bus. Early in the TMZ video, it appears the NFL’s vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, is exiting the bus. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports talked with officials from other teams and at least one confirmed it was Blandino in the video.

That would seem to be a no-no, right?

“We like Dean a lot, but let me tell you, if that was him out with (the owner of a rival of the club this official works for), my owner would be going nuts,” a team official told CBS Sports. This just can’t happen.

“It shows a total lack of judgment, and common sense, to get on the bus in the first place. And then to get off of it in that setting? Yeah, we’ve got a big problem with that. It’s one thing to have a drink or two back in the hotel room or whatever, but this goes way beyond that. How does this not look like preferential treatment?”

It definitely raises a red flag for the guy in charge of yellow flags.

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