Jerry Jones fined by NFL for criticizing ref

IRVING, Texas (AP) - The NFL has fined Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones $25,000 for publicly criticizing referee Ed Hochuli.

It's the first time the NFL has fined Jones in the 20 seasons that he's owned the Cowboys.

Jones didn't talk to reporters in the locker room after the Cowboys' 26-24 loss to the Washington Redskins yesterday. He told reporters two weeks ago that Hochuli was one of the league's most criticized officials. He followed up that comment on his weekly radio show with comments about how Hochuli's crew calls a lot of penalties.

Jones' comments followed Hochuli's missed call two weeks ago that helped Denver's comeback 39-38 win over San Diego. Hochuli later admitted he made the wrong call when he ruled an incomplete pass when Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler dropped back to pass and the ball slipped from his hand.

Hochuli was at the center of another questionable call yesterday. He flagged Julius Peppers for a roughing-the-passer penalty that wiped out Carolina's interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter against Atlanta. Nevertheless, the Panthers went on to beat the Falcons, 24-9.

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