The Cowboys are pretty banged up going into Monday Night's showdown with the undefeated Redskins. In fact, every NFC East team seems to be staggering from injuries EXCEPT for the preseason's presumed cellar dwellers. And the Skins aren't about to feel sorry for their divisional rivals. In fact, cornerback DeAngelo Hall has already made is publicly known that he plans on targeting Felix Jones' shoulder and Tony Romo's ribs. Mmmm... ribs.
I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs—I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know [Cowboys running back] Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it.
"If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hits on that team as possible."
Now, I suppose this is the part where you, the Cowboys fan, become outraged at Hall and declare him nothing more than a thug and a dirty player. But let's face it: Hall's just giving voice to what we know all NFL defenders do. You think Rob Ryan doesn't design defenses to hurt other players if he knows they have a tender spot? Of course he does. He'd be a fool not to. That's strategy. You find a weakness and you exploit it. It's not like Hall plans on taking a shiv out onto the field (though he is a fellow of questionable judgment). He's talking about going after ailing players in a cruelly legal manner.
And any hurt offensive player knows what's coming once his injuries are made known. It's why you see the likes of Tom Brady never mentioning their afflictions. They know they'll be zeroed in on, and they accept it. You can scream dirty pool all you like, but if it was Rex Grossman trotting out there with a broken ribcage, you'd want the Cowboys to go after it with a pack of steak knives. That's football, and that's what makes it such rotten fun.