Football analyst Bryan Broaddus tackles three pressing questions for the Cowboys as the enter the offseason following another 8-8 season.
This week, Bryan talks about the injury for Robert Griffin III and decision to keep playing him Sunday, Ray Lewis’ return and career and Monday’s national title game between Notre Dame and Alabama.
Do you feel like that the Cowboys will have a close eye on the National Championship game tonight?
Broaddus: There are several players that will be of interest in this game tonight with Alabama and Notre Dame. The real strength of this Alabama squad is their offensive line with guard Chance Warmack, center Barrett Jones and Junior tackle DJ Fluker. On the defensive side of the ball, tackle Jesse Williams and safety Robert Lester also need to be watched. Jason Garrett has an extremely close relationship with Alabama head coach Nick Sabin so the possibility of the Cowboys looking at one of these Alabama players at 18 is always there. On the Irish Manti Te’o should be a top ten selection with Junior tight end Tyler Eifert also getting first round consideration.
Watching Sunday’s game, did you think it was irresponsible for the Redskins to leave RG3 in the game, risking further injury to the franchise player?
Broaddus: I made it a point to watch Mike Shanahan’s season ending press conference this afternoon and I was not surprised that it became a little tense with the writers. The major point that Shanahan tried to convey was that he would not have put Griffin III at risk for his career for just to win one game. Head coaches have to make decisions based on what their medical staff is telling them at the moment of the game and make the best call from that information. There appears a real disconnect between Dr. James Andrews and Shanahan which has caused Shanahan to have to answer all these questions. As this game wore on, it was clear that Griffin III was at risk and with the offense struggling to move the ball plus the condition of that field that Shanahan was in the wrong by not pulling him earlier and that was irresponsible on his part.
What are your thoughts on Ray Lewis’ return for Baltimore and how do you rank him among the all-time great linebackers?
Broaddus: What an emotional lift for the Ravens to have Ray Lewis back in the lineup because at the time of the injury, I believed that his career was over which would have not been a fitting way for him to leave this league. For 17 seasons he has been the cornerstone of a Ravens defense that has been one of the most feared units in the NFL. When the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000 it was their defense that carried them to the championship and Lewis was unstoppable as a player but what he might be remember the most for would be the role as a team leader. Ray Lewis would not allow his teammates to play below the standards that he set. Even though Lewis’ play had slipped the last couple of seasons but when they go back and review the tape, he will be talked about as one of the all-time greats to play linebacker in this league and will be the standard that future players measure themselves against.