Tag Archives: dallas cowboys

Protecting It’s Players or “Protecting the Shield”

by Nicholas Muhl

“We’ll take a quick break while the trainers tend to the player down.” I have never heard this statement made by football broadcasters more than this National Football League season. As of last week, according to official NFL statistics, 15 percent of NFL players had suffered some type of injury through the first two weeks of the season.

15 percent. That’s 234 players.

If you want to take a look at it another way, NFL teams can have an active roster of 53 players. That means that over four full active NFL rosters had suffered an injury out of 32 total NFL teams. Worse than you thought, right?

This past weekend was highlighted by even more injuries, specifically Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who suffered an MCL sprain and bone bruise to his left knee. He joins starting quarterbacks Drew Brees (Saints), Tony Romo (Cowboys) and Jay Cutler (Bears) on a growing list of high profile NFL players who have suffered serious injuries this season.

A lot of sports media coverage has been highlighting these individual NFL injuries, specifically the quarterbacks ones, but coverage of the overall issue seems to be lacking. A simple google search of “15 percent of NFL players hurt” will provide you with very limited results. Outside thinkprogress.org and one Bleacher Report article, the only coverage of this issue seems to be on the many low profile sports blogs. ESPN and other major sports media outlets continue to shy away from serious dialogue about the growing injury problem in the NFL. They rather spend most of their time discussing how long players will be out and how it effects our fantasy football lineups.

The NFL continues to damage control as it faces more and more questions about the safety of it’s players and medical care after their careers have ended. According to a report released by Frontline earlier this month,  87 of 91 deceased former NFL players that were included in their study tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The leading cause for CTE is repetitive trauma to the head. This report comes just a few weeks after the trailer of the new movie Concussion, which stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu. A doctor who challenged the NFL’s policy’s and medical treatment of players, specifically after retirement, when he discovered CTE in the brains of several NFL players.

Despite new medical research being done everyday and legal action being taken against the NFL, it seems that the major media still is shying away from the issue. Whether its because the NFL is working to repairs its image in cooperation with the media or because major media decides fantasy football and other coverage brings in better ratings, something needs to change. The media needs to begin asking the question, is the NFL and commisioner Roger Goodell truly doing everything in their power to protect it’s players? Or are they more concerned with “protecting the shield.”

Colt McCoy Pulled From the Spotlight, Literally.

By Kate Roth

Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy proved that he is more than just a third string bench warmer this Monday night as he led his team to victory over the Dallas Cowboys. McCoy, who has been the backup to RGIII and Kirk Cousins, threw for 299 yards and finally got his chance to shine, well at least on the field.

After the game McCoy had been engaging in interviews with many different reporters to discuss his performance along with the performance of the team just as any quarterback would do after a big win. While McCoy was about to answer a question from ESPN Deportes reporter John Sutcliffe he was physically yanked away by Tony Wyllie, the Redskins Senior VP of Communications.

Colt seemed to be enjoying his time in the spotlight and even looked a little confused when Wyllie pulled him away from the interview. Normally we would see communications directors try to encourage their team members to cooperate with the media and conduct these interviews, so it was a bit unexpected to say the least to see Colt being pulled away from the media when he looked very willing to talk.

Wyllie later stated that the reasoning behind his actions were that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was about to give his post game speech and he wanted Colt to be able to hear it.

I understand that Wyllie was just only doing his job, but was it necessary for him to grab McCoy by the back of jersey and yank him away from the interview unexpectedly while screaming, “NO MEANS NO” at the reports? I think the clear answer to this is no.

Yes it is important for Colt to be with his team and hear his coach’s speech after a big game, especially with the role that he had in the win, but Wyllie could have simply told him it was time to go and the interviews could hold off until after the team meeting.

Players being interviewed right after the game is something that has been going on for a long time, especially when they have a performance like Colt did on Monday Night. Wyllie has to be aware that this is part of the business and find a new way to handle situations like this instead of making a scene over such a small issue. Not only did he seem to catch the reporters off guard, but his own player he is out there to protect as well.

I must say that this ranks up there with the Richard Sherman incident as one of the most interesting post-game interviews I have every watched. I hope that Wyllie has seem the video of himself pulling Colt away and realizes that he needs to find another way to handle this type of situation without causing such a scene. And even next time maybe just let the guy have his moment in the spotlight, after all he deserves it.

Punk’d: Cowboys Edition

By Kaleb Page

Remember the show on MTV where Ashton Kutcher would pull pranks on celebrities or essentially ‘punk’ them. It is safe to say that this year many Cowboys fans are sitting back thinking where and when are the cameras (along with Ashton)  going to come out and say gotcha on what so far has been a great start to the season.

Right now the Dallas Cowboys are sitting with the lead over the NFC East and have a 6-1 record. In comparison to years past where at this point they would be 4-3 (2013), 3-4 (2012), and 3-4 (2011); this start is something to look at in optimism. Especially when to begin this season the buzz around this Cowboys team was one of downright despair.

Before this season started there were question marks all over this team and what they could even do in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams). It centered around the engine of this team Tony Romo, who at the time was still recovering from back surgery after injuring his back last season. Without really receiving any big hits or preparation on the season beating that most quarterbacks take, many wondered if he could even last through the season and what the team would do if he went down.

Another big question that had people thinking the Cowboys were canoeing upstream without a paddle, was the defense that lacked much talent or big names. When you think of the Dallas Cowboys you think of a team Jerry Jones assembled with big names up and down the roster. Defenses’ of old had Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, DeMarcus Ware, and the list goes on. With today’s group it is hard to off the top of your head go about naming any one big name on that defensive unit (unless you look it up or have some close tie to the team).

Even though these question marks were there and with good reason, the reality is this team is playing hard and inspired football. The offense is playing at a high level, ranking 14th in the league in passing and 1st in rushing with DeMarco Murray on pace to break all sorts of rushing records. The defense that is a thrown together bunch with little name power and mid-range talent, is ranked 12th in passing yards allowed and 16th in rushing yards allowed. A lot of what the defense is doing can been credited to the defensive mind of Rod Marinelli the team’s defensive coordinator. A man who has been credited with doing more with defenses than what he is given.

The stats are nice but the eye test of actually watching this team shows that the potential is there to go farther than anyone expected. Beating teams like the Saints, Giants, and Seahawks (on the road) is quite impressive when considering that, when this schedule was printed out, many people would go against the Cowboys nine times out of ten in those games. Now sitting at 6-1 these Cowboys can control their destiny. Especially when the next three games they play before their bye week are all winnable games (Washington, Arizona, Jacksonville).

If you are a Cowboys fan you might look around and ask “what’s the catch?” When is the heart going to be torn out after these Cowboys epic fail once again, like they have done almost year in year out for the past several seasons. Possibly this is a change of season and this team is actually for real. Deep down though, if we know anything about the show Punk’d from the past, the best sketches have the real unexpected events still to unfold. So for this Cowboys team to be just another episode of Punk’d playing out before us, be ready for an epic unexpected serious of events to end this Cowboys season. For the Cowboys fans reading, be ready to have that prank happen to you and your team and a guy in a trucker hat coming out yelling “You’ve been Punk’d!

For your sake though Cowboys fans, lets hope that doesn’t happen.

Michael Sam Gets Cut

By Kia Tyus

An article written by Tom Pelissero explains just how hard it is to make it in the NFL. Pelissero’s main focus is Michael Sam getting cut for the second time.

Pelissero jumped right into the article explaining how typically, no one would have noticed that the Dallas Cowboys cut a player from the practice squad. But, since Sam is an openly gay football player it is a bigger deal. I like that Pelissero jumped right into it because it gets an unimportant topic out of the way so Pelissero can focus more on what is important. While I understand that Sam being the first openly gay player in the NFL is a big deal, I don’t like how that particular story always seems to find itself in the news when there is more important stuff to discuss about the NFL.

Pelissero gave facts about the cut stating that linebacker Troy Davis would take Sam’s spot on the practice squad. Also this is the second time in two months that Sam is out of a job.

Something that surprised me about this article is how low of pay players receive for being on the practice squad. To be fair, you are not actually on the active roster, nobody knows who you are, and you don’t have to deal with all the extra drama and stress the active players and superstars deal with; but, Pelissero stated that practice squad member receive roughly $6,300 a week. Obviously for your average citizen that may not be half bad, but for billion dollar organizations I just figured that they would be paid a little more because they are the ones making the superstars better players.

Pelissero proceeded to then talk about Sam’s college stats. I liked the direction he took this because it shows that even someone who was an All-American and co-SEC defensive player of the year spot in the NFL is not guaranteed. Pelissero went on to say that may get you looked at by NFL scouts but, at the end of the day, size and speed play a big part in a player’s success in the NFL. I like how Pelissero explained that Sam simply is too small and slow for his position in the NFL. That just lets the general public know that being gay isn’t the reason why Sam currently isn’t making it in the NFL.

I like how Pelissero ended that article explaining how Sam shouldn’t give up hopes because many players have been cut more than they can probably count and still have succeeded in the NFL. It ended what seemed to be a negative article and giving it a positive light.

Joseph Randle’s Quick Decision-Making Proves to be Helpful

By Alex O’Connor

Last Tuesday, backup running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Joseph Randle, was caught shoplifting underwear and cologne from a local Dallas store. The theft was considered a Class B theft, which is between $50 and $500 worth of items being stolen. Randle was fined a week of his pay, which came out to $29,500. Once the incident occurred, Randle was in serious hot water with the front office and outside media. The Dallas Morning News interviewed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about the issue. Jones declared that Randle would ”pay a high price” for shoplifting cologne and underwear. However, less than a week later, Randle is trying to build good report by signing an endorsement deal with “MeUndies”, an underwear company. Randle is trying to “right a wrong” within the media, and is wasting no time in doing that.

The day before Randle shoplifted those items, he made the most of his opportunities on the field. Randle carried the ball five times for fifty-two yards, including a thirty-eight yard run. He negated all of the positive momentum he built up on the field by shoplifting just two days later. The Dallas Morning News report painted the issue as a matter that would have serious consequences. However, with help from his agent and “MeUndies”, Randle has swung the favor of the media back to his favor.

“MeUndies” is a Los Angeles based lifestyle brand that is finding a unique way to advertise their products. According to the agreement between Randle and “MeUndies”, he will donate $15,000 of their product back to the local community. Randle will also speak at local schools to negate stealing among youths. In addition, he is required to apologize, take action and take responsibility for these actions. Though this is an easy task, it will continue to repair the damage he has done. An additional benefit for Randle’s situation is that “MeUndies” will instantly have more media buzz associated with them. Numerous national media outlets such as ESPN, Yahoo Sports and NBCSports have acknowledged the goodwill Randle is trying to promote, and they believe he has taken steps to improve his image.

The ultimate lesson in Randle’s scenario is that he made something good about a bad situation. He coincidentally lost and gained back most of the media’s attention within a weeks time. Though Randle is not an extremely well known player, he now is more of a household name due to his actions off of the field. With the help of “MeUndies” and his agent, Randle’s reputation has significantly improved.

Merging World and Sport Headlines: Sport Media Coverage of Ebola

By Savannah Malnar

Sports are so integrated into our society that when there is a significant world event, it is inevitable that said event will slip into ESPN or other sport headlines. The Ebola epidemic is no exception.

It was only a matter of time until this major headline seeped into sports. When going to ESPN’s home page, right above the major headline ticker is a small tab that says “Ebola Concerns in the NFL.” This should be no surprise, with the primary cases of the disease in America being centered in Dallas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants are scheduled to play in Dallas this Sunday, October 19th. Local news sites in both Dallas and New York are littered with headlines all telling the same story: The Giants were briefed by their medical staff about the disease and on ways to be cautious while there.

The fact is, all NFL teams have this information available to them through the league and their infectious disease partner, Duke Infection Control Outreach Network.  Despite this, it was reported by Dan Graziano of ESPN that the Cowboys themselves have barely talked about it as a team. Jason Garrett, coach of the Cowboys, was asked if addressed his team regarding the disease. He responded: “Really haven’t, to be honest with you. I don’t think it has directly affected us. So it hasn’t been something we have addressed directly with our players.”

The world media has certainly been all over the Ebola epidemic. The sport media may be soon as well. Already it seems every sport media source, local and national, has published an article regarding the Giants’ briefing on the disease.

While it is still very early to be extremely concerned, the sport media needs to be careful to present the information fairly and not over exaggerate. All the articles regarding the Giants were fair in saying the players were not concerned about going into the region where the disease was (though they may not bring children and wives along to this game, as a precaution), with Eli Manning saying, “I’m not worried about myself or the team. With what we’re doing and where we’re staying, I think we’ll be fine.”

Ebola is a fair concern in sports where traveling is a necessity, but the sport media should consider to err on the conservative side of reporting on it until it is clear whether players in any sport are in any real danger of contracting it through travel.