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Mailbag: Is There An Answer To The Issue Of Fake Injuries?
I was watching last night’s game and screaming at the top of my lungs when the Giants players started to fake injuries to slow down the Cowboys’ hurry-up offense. I wanted to get your opinions on this, and do you think the NFL will ever acknowledge this issue?
Nick: I think the NFL has acknowledged it, but there’s really not anything you can do. Let’s not forget the premise behind just about every rule these days – it’s all about safety. Now, we want to question if a player is really hurt. Let’s just say a guy goes down to his knees and it looks like he’s acting. But he’s really dizzy because of a concussion and the officials tell him we’re not stopping the game. So he goes back and tries to play and further injures himself. It’s a slippery slope. You can take away timeouts and all that, but I think it’s always going to be an issue.
David: At some point, this will probably have to be addressed, as these types of offenses become more commonplace in the game. I’ve heard suggestions that any injured player must sit for five to 10 plays, but then you run the risk of penalizing players who haven’t done anything wrong. Maybe instead the NFL could make questionable injuries subject to review and potential fines, the same way questionable hits are.
PARK RIDGE, NJ
I know the Giants’ defense was blanketing Dez Bryant and that was opening things up for Miles Austin and Jason Witten, but shouldn't Bill Callahan still find ways to get the ball to his most explosive playmaker?
Nick: I don’t think Bill Callahan has a fantasy team. He runs the offense for a real team. So he’s not really worried if Dez gets eight catches for 124 yards and two scores. I know what you’re saying about getting him the ball, but they made sure to take Dez out of the game. They were Ok with Austin’s 10 catches and Murray’s eight and Witten getting eight and two red-zone scores. Think about, Dez had four catches and Witten, Austin and Murray combined for 26.
David: I agree with what Nick is saying to a degree, and it certainly looked like New York was bound and determined to keep Bryant from being a factor Sunday night. At some point, the Cowboys will need to get the ball to their best threat, and Bryant will probably have to beat some pretty intense coverages to make that happen. But in general, if the defense takes away your first option, you make the defense pay by focusing on the second, third and fourth options. That’s just the strategy of football, and it worked in the Cowboys’ favor on Sunday, even if Dez didn’t shine. Read