Some of the buzz around the NFL on Monday involved a questionable block by a Seahawks wide receiver during Seattle’s victory Sunday. Golden Tate hit Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys with a block that caught him off guard and has Cowboys personnel upset.
The fallout on that hit, which was not flagged for a penalty, has become an issue of health and safety as well as fair play.
* Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks Tate should be fined or suspended for what he deemed as a blindside block.
* Some Cowboys have accused the Seahawks of being a dirty team.
* DallasCowboys.com’s Jonathan Auping, who is a beat columnist for the website, went so far as to say the NFL will be irresponsible if it ignored the hit.
… these rules are being put into place to slowly change the culture of the NFL — not to harm it or make it less physical, but to ensure the safety of those playing the sport of football. If a certain type of hit has a high enough probability of injury then players must be punished for it so that it becomes considered an unacceptable hit. If Tate is praised for this block, it becomes more likely that we will see 10 more just like it. And it would be fair to guess that if you replicate that block 10 more times you will see a significant injury at least once.
* The Seattle Post-Intelligencer also questioned if the block was legal. For clarification, because of the proliferation of blindside blocks last decade — and the injuries that accompanied them — similar moves were deemed illegal in 2009 when it was added to the rulebook as a 15-yard penalty.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor