Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall made waves by saying he was going to target Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s injured ribs and running back Felix Jones’ sore shoulder when the Redskins play the Cowboys on Monday night:
“I want 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 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 hats on that team as possible.”
Was Hall wrong in saying that? Athlon Sports editors weigh in.
DeAngelo's trash talking is refreshing because the Redskins and Cowboys are supposed to hate each other. And in this day and age of vanilla soundbites and press conferences full of the same trite cliches (I'm looking at you Eli Manning), it's nice to hear a little truth before a big game against division rivals. I don't think we need to go all the way back to the days when Bronco Nagurski would poke someone's eye out underneath a pile of players, but a little hatred within a division just makes for a better football. Hall's quotes serve one real purpose: To make Romo hesitate for just a split second longer than normal or make him a little more apt to throw a ball away if he's hearing footsteps. Hall has one sack in his career (and it's actually just two half sacks put together), so he's trying to get into his head much more than he's trying to go for his ribs. But in the end, it makes this match-up much more fun for the fans.
DeAngelo Hall is not going to hit anybody. Those quotes will be the hardest hits he lays on the Cowboys all week. Now if the late, great Sean Taylor threatened to go after Tony Romo and Felix Jones, then I’d be concerned. Hall was stating the obvious. It’s like a boxer opening up a cut above the eye of his opponent and then hitting that eye the rest of the night. Obvious weakness will be exploited in the NFL. But one thing Hall forgot is that hitting isn’t a part of the new NFL; Roger Goodell will be watching and the refs will be quick with their whistles and flags. What Hall really did was bring unnecessary scrutiny to his Redskins teammates who will actually be hitting — because it won’t be DeAngelo putting his “hat” on any Cowboys.
I have no problem with DeAngelo Hall’s comments that he plans to go after not only Tony Romo’s ribs but also Felix Jones’ shoulder when the Redskins and Cowboys meet on Monday night. Hall is simply playing mind games with his opponent, trying to give the injured Cowboys something extra to think about. It will be up to the officials to determine if Hall does something malicious; they can’t and shouldn’t penalize him for a legal hit to Romo’s ribs or Jones’ shoulder. Football is a very rough sport. If players choose to play injured, they have to realize that their opponents will try to take advantage of those injuries in any way possible.
It is morally, ethically and professionally reprehensible. But you are simply being ignorant if you think these types things aren't heavily talked about and possibly even rewarded in meeting and locker rooms on a regular basis. Hall is just dumb enough to let it go public — which still actually wouldn't be that big of a deal if he was more than just a mediocre NFL cornerback. It must be a lot easier to run your mouth when Dez Bryant and/or Miles Austin might not be on the field.
Conceptually, I have no problem with what Hall said. Finding weakness and exploiting it? That’s Football 101. It’s a harsh NFL reality that fans may prefer not to think about, but injured players are vulnerable to extra attention from their opponents. My problem is that he was dumb enough to come out and say it. The league is hyper-sensitive to injuries, particularly to its star players, and Hall’s comments make the Skins vulnerable to personal foul flags that might not otherwise fly. After putting the refs on notice that he’s gunning for Romo, Hall had better tread extra lightly around the Dallas QB, or he’ll find his wallet a little lighter come Monday.
I have no problem whatsoever with DeAngelo Hall’s comments on going after injured Cowboys. He did not advocate anything dirty. The controversial Redskins’ cornerback just said he would hit Dallas quarterback Tony Romo in his injured ribs – that’s football. Hall also said that he would not “cut” running back Felix Jones, instead wanting to hit him high in his injured shoulder. Once again, that’s football. As long as he is not chopping anyone’s knees or going to the head, I applaud Hall for being honest. If he thinks he’s tough enough to go roughing up opponents — while also making himself a target for Dallas blockers — then more power to DeAngelo Hall.