Mike Ditka on the Cowboys and Eagles: They’re Going Nowhere

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 10 – ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson previewed today’s NFL action with Suzy Kolber, analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Some excerpts from today’s show: 

On Jimmy Johnson calling the Dallas Cowboys a “country club”…

Ditka: “You get what you tolerate. I mean, right now they’ve created an atmosphere in Dallas which reminds everybody of a country club. You know, it’s a whole different thing right now. Football… it’s a down-to-earth-sport. I mean, you gotta practice a certain way to play the game the right way. You don’t see any of this anymore. I mean, to me, what Jimmy’s saying is right. Come on. Get tough, guys.”

Carter: “Success in the NFL is based on winning playoff games. Okay guys, they have won one playoff game, right, in the last 15 years, so they have not been successful. Check this out: the only teams that have not won a playoff game, alright, the Chiefs, the Bengals, Lions, Bills and Browns. Alright. They’ve won zero playoff games over that period of time. So the only teams that they’ve been more successful than are those teams right there. So, for me, they are a soft football team, and they need to get a lot tougher.”

Johnson: “When you talk about fear, I played in Dallas and I played under Bill Parcells, and I witnessed a heated exchanged between the owner and the head coach before. And Jerry Jones walked away from that exchange with his head down. Wasn’t pleasant at all. In front of the team. And that’s because everybody knew that Bill was in change, so the players act accordingly. And that’s not the case with Jason Garrett.”

On Joe Namath’s comments about the New York Jets putting headlines ahead of winning games… 

Johnson: “It’s nothing new. Couple years ago when they were in the AFC Championship Game, nobody was complaining about anything they were saying. It’s not a good football team. They don’t have the talent right now, so the first thing you say is, hey, they need to be quiet, they need to play football. And that’s exactly right, but they also need to get the talent to be able to do that.”

Carter: “My biggest problem with the whole situation is – where is the enthusiasm for Tim Tebow? The same enthusiasm you had that day you traded for him. Because you’re really doing the kid a disservice. Because he can make some plays for your football team. They have not scored an offensive touchdown with Tim Tebow being on the football field.”

Jackson: “Joe makes a good point because we are living proof that it works. Who do we talk more about here: the two-time World Champions in the last five years or the New York Jets?”

On the New York Giants – have they lost their identity in the last few weeks or is it just a bump in the road?

Jackson: “I don’t know if it’s a bump in the road, but I understand the message that (head coach Tom) Coughlin is trying to send when he says ‘soft’. It means stop the run.”

Ditka: “Coach Landry told me a long time ago, you earn the right to rush the passer by stopping the run. If you can’t stop the run – and Pittsburgh proved it last week – they’re going to run it down your throat.” 

Carter: “Let’s go back to week 15 of last season, guys. We tend to get this out of proportion. The Giants were 7-7. They were one of the worst run defenses, and they had one of the worst rushing attacks. Okay, so, they still went on to win the Super Bowl. So let’s not worry too much about the Giants, especially during the regular season.” 

Berman: “I give the team a pass last week. Alright, this is Sandy. This is real life.” 

On the New Orleans Saints vs. the undefeated Atlanta Falcons…

Jackson: “When you think about the Falcons – seven turnovers this year, three of them happened in one half against Oakland. In 30 quarters of football, they’ve only turned the ball over four other times. I don’t see the Saints doing it.”

Ditka: “I can see the Saints pulling off an upset. They’ve got to outscore them, guys. Their defense is not going to stop Atlanta’s offense.”

On the state of the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles and thoughts on today’s game…

Carter: “Call the police. ‘Cause it should be a crime. It does not make sense for two organizations – Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys – with the type of coaching staffs that they have in place and the quarterbacks and the personnel. Like, and the sad thing about it, someone’s going to pay. In the National Football League, both of these teams being a collective 6-10, someone’s going to pay, someone’s going to lose their job.”

Jackson: “Whoever wins this game gets a chance, a chance – as minor as it is – to retain their system the way it exists now.”

Ditka: “The biggest matchup of the year of two average football teams that are going nowhere, guys. And they’re going nowhere because of themselves.”