Cowboy Great Justifies Illegal Hits On RG3

AP Image

AP Image

Well this just got nasty.

It’s not very often that NFL players or alumni speak positively about illegal hits in football, even on their opponents. Aside from it coming off as barbaric or in poor taste, it also violates the honor code that most players operate under of playing whistle to whistle within the general framework of the rules.

And then there is former Cowboys All-Pro receiver Drew Pearson, who took to the airwaves this week to advocate cheap shots on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, if it aided his team in victory.

Here is a partial transcript of his radio interview on KESN-FM 103.3, via

“We gave RGIII a lot of confidence playing against the Cowboys in our first game here in Cowboys Stadium so we need to take it to him. We need to let him know that it’s not going to be that easy or we’re not going to lay down for them and we’re not intimidated by him.

“The way you do that is you go out on that field and you knock him around. Even if it costs you a 15-yard penalty, and I’m only saying this if it’s not a critical situation or anything. Sometimes you have to deliver that kind of blow and that kind of message to let him know it’s going to be like this all day and not a walk in the park.

“We need to establish this with RGIII and the Redskins as well.”

Well thank goodness he clarified that it should only be ‘non-critical situations.’

The absurdity of Pearson’s argument covers the spectrum from illogical to downright irresponsible. Here is a brief rebuttal:

1. It is not unusual to have alumni hype a rivalry. At least twice a year, former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley goes on sports radio to discuss how much he hates the Cowboys and their fans. Whether it’s a story about sacking Danny White, or a critique of Cowboys’ fans’ hygiene, appearance or intelligence, it’s generally amusing and light-hearted. He does not encourage illegal hits on Tony Romo–he just points out all the things he dislikes about the Dallas quarterback.

Manley played in Washington during the heyday of the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry, at a time when the rules on defensive players were far less strict. Which brings me to the next point…

2. Football is a physical sport, and the NFL is full of professional athletes that take risks every time they play. With that in mind, the NFL has made a concerted effort to curb the hits that threaten players’ careers. In recent years, regulations have been set on what a defender may use to hit a player, where, when and how hard. The intent: to protect players from high-risk hits when safer alternatives are available. Instead of hitting offensive players in the head, aim for the chest and lead with the shoulder. Instead of using horse-collar tackles from behind, aim for the waist or the legs, and so on.

These are not arbitrary regulations, and it’s not an acceptable way to “send a message.”  The point of these rules is to reduce the number of career-threatening injuries that a player is exposed to over the course of game. Very few defensive players would intentionally deliver a hit that could end another man’s livelihood, so why advocate that approach?  This game will likely to come down to one or two defining plays, and a 15-yard penalty could be devastating if garnered at the wrong time. Furthermore, Pearson should watch the Baltimore tape to see what happened the last time Kirk Cousins came in off the bench.

3. Pearson’s argument assumes that the Cowboys’ pass rush lacks motivation against their biggest rival, in a game that decides the fate of the season. DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer have 21.5 of the team’s 34 sacks this season. On Thanksgiving, Spencer tallied a sack, and Ware was neutralized by Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams.It wasn’t for lack of effort that the pass rush failed to find Griffin III–the Redskins were just really good on offense.

In 13 career games against the Redskins, Ware has 11 sacks and 40 tackles. He doesn’t need a former wide receiver to tell him how to do his job.

There is much more that could be said in response to the Pearson Plan, but it is unlikely that football logic or professional honor will resonate in this conversation. This explosive rivalry needs no added fuel ahead of Sunday Night, but cheap shots are just another thing to keep an eye on.



0 thoughts on “Cowboy Great Justifies Illegal Hits On RG3

  1. They cant handle rg3 so they gonna try to knock him out the game…ummm last time i check demarcus ware was talking trash durning the off-season about rg3 nd he embarass them on they own field on thanksgiving day…you see redskins aint reply to nothing cowboys are saying cause they focus on durning they job nd taking care of business…nd by the way kirk cousin can take over a game nd win jus like dat…


  2. Why not use that same logic against them and put their QB out the damn game. Thats playing so dirty when the only way you can try to win is by causing injury to a player. Same thing happen to Farve at Minnesota! If you cant beat them injury them.


  3. It sounds like the Saints aren’t the only team bounty hunting . I wouldn’t expect anything less from Dallas by the sounds of it. One thing for sure, you have to catch him first…Good luck with that.


  4. haha cant beat them any other way so we going to take cheap shots hahahah cowboys suck really maybe the nfl should keep a close eye on game and make sure refs doing their job pretty sad


  5. It is not a surprise, typical Dallas thinking. Felonies and illegal activity is a prerequisite for making the Dallas team. I think the commissioner should assume it is planned and make this well known if they do not dispute the suggestion. HTTR


  6. Romo should be scared,and he should talk to his team about playing dirty, because what comes around goes around. If they start trying to intentionally injure G3,Then our Big D will have to put it to him too,and we already know he has a broken rib,trust me I know,those ribs NEVER really heal. It just becomes like another floating rib.


  7. Someone tell planet Earth this is how Dallas plays anyway. I watched them playing last week and they were playing as dirty as the zebras would let them. Micheal Irvin was one of the dirtiest players ever to hold a ball, its in their blood. This is why its no big deal for Jerry Jones to allow a player who killed one of their own to chill on the field with the other team mates. I hope 23 gets another jawjack in on one of those Dbags (without ejection of course).


  8. Nothing that comes out of the mouth of a Cowboy (former or current) surprises me. They have been running their mouths ever since I have been old enough to remember seeing my first televised Redskin-Cowgirl game in 1975. By the way, Pearson Plan—yes, he excuted that all the time. He and later Michael Irvin specialized in the the push-off to get open routine all the time and were never called for a penalty, I guess because they are “America’s Team”. I am so ready to lay a serious whipping on these arrogant clowns. It is our time.
    By the way Dallas, in order to “hit him,” you have to catch him. I think your defense is still trying to locate RGIII and all the open receivers from last time.
    Go Skins!


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