Cowboys' Special Teams Coach Celebrates NFL Rule Changes

After the NFL announced new kickoff rules for the 2024 season earlier this week, Cowboys special teams coach John Fassel is excited about what it could mean for the game.
Dallas Cowboys ST coordinator John Fassel is excited by the NFL's new kickoff rules.
Dallas Cowboys ST coordinator John Fassel is excited by the NFL's new kickoff rules. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL announced a slew of new rules that'll come into effect during the 2024 season earlier this week. One of the biggest changes is a revamped kickoff system that features several differences from the traditional format, including a lack of a running start and most of the kicking team lining up at the 40-yard line.

While certain fans and players aren't thrilled to see the NFL stepping away from tradition, that isn't the case for everyone. In fact, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel is excited about the changes and what they could mean for the sport going forward.

Cowboys News: John Fassel Excited for New Kickoff Rules

Fassel appeared on Thursday's edition of "Good Morning Football" to discuss the new kickoff rules and his love for the upcoming changes. "It feels fantastic," said Fassel about the kickoff changes. "It was a dying play and it feels like it's back."

Part of the reason why some NFL enthusiasts are against the changes is due to breaking tradition. Fassel knows this though, which is why he didn't hesitate to praise the league for looking outside the box for a solution after the kickoffs have become less important in recent years.

"I'm proud of the NFL for being bold because this is a big change. Like I said, special teams was a little bit of a phase that was getting phased out. We're back in a big way and I can't wait to see where this goes. "

Cowboys ST Coordinator John Fassel

The NFL's kickoff changes are coming into effect mostly for two reasons: 1) to improve player safety and 2) to bring excitement back to special teams.

With high-speed collisions often causing severe injuries, only kickers and returns can move before the ball is caught. All non-kickers on the kicking team must line up at the 40-yard line while nine or more members of the receiving team will be lined up between the 30- and 35-yard lines — the "setup zone."

It's still a touchback if the ball lands in the end zone or goes out the back of it, however, the ball will be placed at the 30-yard line. Kicking teams will be punished if their kick goes out of bounds on the sidelines by the ball being spotted at the 40-yard line instead.

NFL insider Adam Schefter posted a clip of a USFL kickoff to show people what to expect once the 2024 campaign rolls around.

NFL Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay told ESPN on Tuesday that he expects the new rule changes will result in 50% to 60% of kickoffs being returned in 2024. For comparison, only 21% were returned last season.

Fassel agreed with McKay in Thursday's interview, telling ex-NFLer Jason McCourty that football was "losing" the kickoff, so the new changes were necessary. He also adds that he hopes to see college football and lower leagues adopt the changes one day to create a "better and safer" sport going forward.

Time will tell if the Cowboys can take advantage of the new kickoff changes in 2024. America's Team currently heads into the NFL Draft as the favorites to win the NFC East next season on FanDuel Sportsbook at +120. If you like these odds, head over to and take advantage of your sign-up bonus.

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