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NFL adopts rule change after Saints NFC Championship 'No-call'

The change will go into effect in the upcoming season, to help prevent what happened to the Saints from occurring again.

PHOENIX — The type of game-changing non-call that cost the Saints a likely chance at the Super Bowl will now be reviewable in NFL games.

NFL owners have approved all offensive and defensive pass interference calls, as well as non-calls, to now be challenged, according to multiple reports.  

Previously, interference calls, flagged or 'un-flagged' could not be challenged. 

Owners voted for the change on Tuesday night at the NFL owner's meeting in Phoenix, Arizona after a presentation by Saints head coach Sean Payton earlier in the day. 

RELATED: Payton says last minute addition will allow vote on rule to allow review of 'non-calls'

The changes came from a vote on a proposal called '6C,' which combined elements of Payton's proposal, '6B' to make pass interference calls subject to instant replay review, plays like Rams' cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman on former Saints receiver TommyLee Lewis in the NFC championship.  

Rule 6c states: For one year only, expands the reviewable plays in Instant Replay to include pass interference, called or not called on the field. Also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any Try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

Besides new challenging rules, Payton's proposal, originally named "Proposal 6B," but later folded in to other replay changes and called 6c, would allow replay assistants to review non-called defensive pass interference -- like what the Saints experienced in their NFC Championship loss against the Los Angeles Rams.  

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"Everybody wanted to get it right, everybody wanted to do that. The big picture here is simply to get it right and we should do that, we have the ability to do that. Again, it won’t be perfect," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Tuesday. 

PHOENIX - Pass interference, whether flagged or not, can be challenged by coaches and reviewed by officials next season. NFL team owners voted Tuesday on a one-year trial basis to include those often-controversial penalties in the officiating replay review system.

Reporters in Phoenix covering the owner's meetings said they were extremely surprised at how quickly the rule changed.  

Payton also told reporters that any rule change should not be limited to postseason. He said the Saints benefited the Pittsburgh Steelers were hurt by a bogus pass interference call on the Steelers which set the Saints up for a touchdown in a game the Steelers badly needed.

"[Sean's] got an opinion. He knows how to express it, and he had a legitimate point of view...in the middle of the discussion was, 'can we get 24 votes to put a foul on?'" said Rich McKay, Chairman of the NFL's competition committee on Tuesday.  

It's a philosophical change, proving that Payton's voice carries weight in the league. 

“This is what I wanted to happen. That’s why I made my statement. (The non-call in the title game) will never happen again," Gayle Benson said in response to the decision.

Stay with the Eyewitness News on WWL-TV and WWLTV.com for more on this developing story. 

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