SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 03: Head coach Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to members of the media after being defeated by the San Diego Chargers 23-17 in the AFC Wild Card Game on January 3, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Several Cowboys cited the comments of former coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy as a motivating factor in Saturday night's upset win over the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints.As the story goes, on the previous week's episode of NBC's Football Night in America, Dungy said that the Cowboys' season was riding on Saturday night's game. That, however, was true, and not really incendiary. What got Dallas going was his follow up comment, when asked if Dallas had a chance.
"No chance," said Dungy.
Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis showed a copy of the exchange, between Dungy and Dan Patrick, at the team's last meeting on Friday. After the win, the fallout began, with Patrick Crayton, DeMarcus Ware and the usually ultra-P.C. Tony Romo wondering aloud how a former coach could make such a statement. On Monday, head coach Wade Phillips had his turn to address the now-infamous comment.
Phillips, who said he respected Dungy as a person and a coach, was asked if Dungy had violated some sort of coaches code of honor by saying that Cowboys had no chance.This induced a smile from Phillips.
"Maybe he's part of the media," Phillips said. "I don't think they have a code of honor."
Keith Brooking, the Dallas linebacker who is wont to speaking against the more (ahem) evil forces of the media, took a more head-on approach in dismissing the week old remarks.
"He doesn’t know our locker room, the dynamics of our locker room, what we’re about, what we believe in," said Brooking of Dungy. "So what he says doesn’t really have any credibility to me, because he doesn’t know. I mean, that’s his opinion and he gets paid to give his opinion. Obviously, he’s very experienced and he knows football, but he doesn’t know the Dallas Cowboys this year in 2009 and what we’re about."