For a guy who seems so reasonable and fair, former Colts coach Tony Dungy made quite an absolute statement last weekend on Sunday Night Football on NBC. When discussing the upcoming Cowboys and Saints game regarding Dallas’ chances at the playoffs, Dungy said the Cowboys didn’t stand a chance against the Saints in New Orleans, adding that the Giants were likely to jump the Cowboys for the final playoff spot in the NFC. Apparently the Cowboys coaches got a hold of the tape and played it for their team as a motivational tactic. The tactic proved to be quite effective; Tony Romo was particularly motivated by Dungy’s remarks.
In two separate occasions after the game, Romo made reference to Dungy’s disparaging comments. First, on the field after the game, Romo told Alex Flanagan of NFL Network that Dungy’s comments motivated the team. Later in the postgame press conference, Romo said the same thing and elaborated, adding that he was surprised to hear such a definitive statement coming from a former coach. Romo’s right — if anyone should understand the “Any Given Sunday” concept, it would be a former coach. But Dungy is now a television commentator and he has clearly embraced that role, making firm and polarizing statements. Even if Dungy’s trying to be controversial, I’m surprised he didn’t leave any room for the possibility of a Dallas victory. I remember being surprised to hear Dungy discredit Dallas, but I’m more surprised it got back to the Cowboys players and that they used it to their advantage. Good for them, it was a well-deserved win. So much for the December lull b.s. the media was drilling into everyone’s mind; beating the Saints proves the Cowboys can be as good as anyone in the NFL.
Here’s a taste of Dungy’s analysis of the Cowboys last weekend on NBC: