Pro Basketball Hall of Famer and Dodgers owner Magic Johnson was in Oxnard on Tuesday to watch his favorite NFC team, the Dallas Cowboys, scrimmage against his favorite AFC team, the Oakland Raiders. After the workout, Johnson discussed his favorite teams’ respective struggles, and put forth a lengthy defense of oft-criticized Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
"What happens is he gets grief because everybody loves the Cowboys or you hate them, but you still watch them," Johnson said, per ESPN Dallas. "One thing about Tony I love is he’s a competitor, and he’s smart. The dude is smart. And so he’s an all-around athlete. I hope that people understand that he puts up 400 yards and then they give him all the grief. I mean he can’t play defense, you know? Yes, I’m always defending him.
“I’m upset when they criticize him because he plays great games, but they expect him to do everything. He’s one guy who controls the offense and, trust me, when everything comes together, they’ll have a great season. And I’m hoping everybody can stay healthy, because that’s another reason both teams struggle is because they get those injuries to key guys."
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who has made a habit of looking to other sports for inspiration for himself and his team, had Johnson speak to the team before the scrimmage.
"He had some great words of wisdom," Romo said. "He just has a way to connect with people. Any time someone like that speaks, you’re going to hang on every word, so it was really special and great to see him."