An Iffy Call, Followed by an Iffy Comment

Troy Aikman wants NFL refs to 'take the dresses off' in regard to roughing-the-passer penalties
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2022 11:25 AM CDT
An Iffy Call, Followed by an Iffy Comment
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Grady Jarrett on Sunday. The resulting roughing-the-passer call was controversial.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The big NFL hubbub after the latest round of games is all about quarterbacks—specifically, the protection of them. And a former quarterback's choice of words on the issue hasn't landed well with everyone. Here's a look:

  • Two questionable calls: On Sunday, Grady Jarrett of the Falcons sacked Tom Brady of the Buccaneers and got penalized for roughing the passer. On Monday, Chris Jones of the Chiefs sacked Derek Carr of the Raiders and got hit with the same penalty, per USA Today. The nearly unanimous sentiment among NFL fans and analysts is that neither tackle warranted a penalty and that the league is way too protective of QBs.

  • Aikman's reaction: Former QB Troy Aikman, who was calling the Chiefs game, said this after the penalty: "My hope is the Competition Committee looks at this in the next set of meetings and we take the dresses off." Critics immediately pounced on social media, calling the remark misogynistic, per OutKick, which rounds up comments from what it calls the "PC mob." It was like two controversies in one, writes Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated, who notes that the sentiment goes back to the 1970s, when Jack Lambert famously complained that "quarterbacks should wear skirts."
  • A rule change? The league's rulebook currently states: "When in doubt about a roughness call or potentially dangerous tactic against the quarterback, the referee should always call roughing the passer." The AP reports that the league's Competition Committee will indeed look into whether things have gone too far, though any potential rule change likely wouldn't happen this year. Jones (the Carr sacker) already is calling for video reviews of such calls so they might be overturned in real time.
  • Context: NFL quarterbacks clearly need protection, writes Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports, pointing to the recent concussion of Tua Tagovailoa. But if "the NFL's going to protect quarterbacks to this extent, it might as well go all the way and call them down with a safe, gentle two-hand touch."
(Read more NFL stories.)

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