Sunday, November 4th, 2012


“I would never tell my team that.” – Tony Dungy on Mike Shanahan’s post-game comments “I’m told the Saints are adamant that Payton will be their coach in 2013.” – Mike Florio on reports of Sean Payton’s contract “He’s the most dangerous when he’s in the fourth quarter.” – Rodney Harrison on Peyton Manning

NEW YORK – November 4, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., where the Falcons are hosting the Dallas Cowboys. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Super Bowl MVP and newest addition to NBC Sports’ NFL team.

Dan Patrick co-hosted the program from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and was joined by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of Carolyn Manno reported from Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Giants-Steelers.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Patrick on Mike Shanahan’s post-game comments: “Would you ever say that as a coach nine games in?”

Dungy: “I would not. We’re still battling. We’ve got a chance. The Denver Broncos were 1-4 last year and made the playoffs. I would never tell my team that.”

Harrison: “Coach, if you told me that, I would look at you and say, ‘Coach, we have seven games left. Why are you giving up on us? Even if you look at our division — with the Cowboys, the Eagles, they’re not very good. The Giants may be the best team in our division. But we still have a chance.’”

Patrick: “Surprising though, surprising after nine games to say that. And you’ve got a bye week. Imagine that Washington media eating that alive.”

Note: Dungy, Harrison and Patrick were reacting to the following post-game comment by Shanahan, “When you lose a game like that, now you’re playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come. Now we get a chance to evaluate players and see where we’re at. Obviously we’re not out of it statistically, but now we find out what type of character we got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season.”


Dungy: “(They are) Back. Back. Back; with old-time football: run the ball, play defense and good special teams.”

Harrison (at halftime): “You have to give that offensive line a lot credit. The last couple of years a lot of people have criticized them. They’re doing a fabulous job.”


Dungy on Andrew Luck: “He’s got the Colts – Jim Mora – thinking playoffs.”

King: “Andrew Luck told me after the game, ‘I must have told Chuck Pagano 10 times, coach, I love you.’”

Dungy on Luck’s performance: “It was special.”


Harrison on Peyton Manning’s comebacks: “He’s the most dangerous when he’s in the fourth quarter. That’s when he’s at his best.”

Dungy on Manning: “That’s 48 fourth-quarter comebacks, but I promise you, he’s more concerned about those two interceptions.”


Florio on reports of Sean Payton’s contract: “I’m told the Saints are adamant that Payton will be there coach in 2013.”

King on if Payton were to end up a free agent: “The leader in the clubhouse right now…will be the Philadelphia Eagles…I think they would be the favorites.”


Dungy on if he’s bought into the Ravens: “Not yet. They still are having problems on defense. They gave up another 100-yard rusher today and they play the Steelers twice in the next few weeks. Then we’ll see.”


Patrick on Bears defense: “They’re bordering on historical numbers for a defense.”

Dungy: “They really are. But they work on it. They drill it all the time.”


Dungy on Doug Martin: “He has given them life.”


Michaels on Jerry Jones: “He’s the best owner/showman in the history of sports. Is he not?”

Costas: “Well, he’s right there with George Steinbrenner, and there’s probably some others. He’s on the list. That’s for sure.”

Dungy: “My coach with the Steelers, Chuck Noll, said, ‘Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do the ordinary things well.’ Dallas can’t do the ordinary things in the fourth quarter.”

Harrison on if the Cowboys are a Super Bowl team: “I think it is. They have enough talent to win a Super Bowl. But that’s not the question. Are they smart enough to play in the fourth quarter to win a Super Bowl?”

Dungy: “Talent doesn’t win games. They’re not playing well enough to be a Super Bowl team right now.”


Michaels: “We talk about model franchises — and New England and Pittsburgh for the last decade or so, people have said they are the model franchises — I’m going to put Atlanta in that category right now, too.”

Ward: “I’m a believer.”

Dungy: “I believe, but they’ve got to win a playoff game first.”


On being okay with the slings and arrows that inevitably come: “I’m not going to say that’s good because that looks sadistic. By the way, my wife has said, ‘I think you’ve got some of that in you because you do seem to enjoy it more than you should at times.’ But I do understand it, the passion that goes with it when you don’t have the success. I do want that passion. I do want that interest there, and I try to keep it there with the Dallas Cowboys and where I can in the NFL.”

On Jason Garrett as head coach of Cowboys and whether he is the right guy in the long run: “I think you said the right thing at the end there. This is a long term thing with me. I like what I’m seeing. I don’t like that we are 3-4, but I like the direction.”

On tough loss at Baltimore and whether he talked to Garrett: “I always like to look at the tape and look at the circumstances. Usually, I agree completely with the circumstances and how he made the call. We can all second guess, and I did say usually, because we do all second guess now that we know the result of, let’s say, the direction he went.”

On whether Garrett is currently the coach Jones hopes he will eventually be: “I hope that I’m not the general manager, I hope that I’m not the owner that I’m going to be. And there is no question, when you look at Jason Garrett’s background, when you look at his age, there’s no question that the future is an exciting time for us.”

On if Tony Romo is a franchise quarterback: “Tony has won 60% of the games he’s ever started for the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo is our quarterback and the way we’re going to go is the way Romo goes.”

Costas: “His contract runs out after next season. Do you intend for him to be the Cowboys quarterback for the foreseeable future? Spend his whole career as a Cowboy?”

Jones: “I do. Now, we negotiating for him right now? Probably I’ve let the cat out of the bag, but I know that I haven’t. But yes, I do.”

On the Cowboys unimpressive record since 1997 and that the only constant staff is Jones: “Well, I think that’s valid. We’ve had four different division titles since we’ve won our last Super Bowl. We’ve basically have had six losing seasons since we won our last Super Bowl. That’s not acceptable.”

On whether owner Jerry Jones would have dismissed GM Jerry Jones by now: “Well, I think so, because he was there to dismiss. I have always worked for myself and you can’t do that. You basically have to straighten that guy out in the mirror when you work for yourself. But certainly, if I’d had the discretion, I’ve done it with coaches and certainly I would have changed a general manager.”

On if the personnel on the Cowboys roster good enough to win a Super Bowl: “Yes, it is. We just need to put it together and beat a team like Atlanta.”

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Gonzalez on the Falcons not getting national attention or respect: “I think you just look at last week’s game. We played against Philly, we beat them, we beat a very good Philly team out there, and then all week it’s all about Philly. I’m not really concerned about the respect issue, honestly, I really don’t care. As long as we keep taking care of business, eventually they will take notice.”

Ryan on whether the comparisons to Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger are fair: “It’s always good to be compared to some guys that are playing at a really high level.”

Ryan on not winning a playoff game: “I get that quarterbacks are judged by wins and losses, what you do in the playoffs, and I understand that. From my own perspective, I’m not content with where we are at; I’m not content with where I’m at. I’m constantly trying to improve as a player and hopefully we’ll have our opportunity later in the year to kind of change that.”

Gonzalez on what’s missing in his career: “We all know that, at least if you follow me you know that, I have never won a playoff game. That’s not my goal. A lot of people say ‘Will winning a playoff game, will that make your career ok?’ Well, no. Winning a Super Bowl, that’s the reason I’ve been coming back for the last couple years. That’s what drives me at this point. I’m having a good time with the guys too; this is the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Ryan on convincing Gonzalez, who is 95 percent sure he’ll retire after this season, to continue to play: “You know I think there is a lot in that five percent. Just leave the door open with me a little bit. I’ll be working on it in the off-season.”

Ryan on his favorite receiver: “The open receiver. It’s hard, I am very lucky to have what I think is three number one receivers. I’ve got Julio Jones who’s a young guy and he’s getting better every week. I’ve got Roddy White, who has been to a Pro Bowl the last four years. And I’ve got probably the greatest tight end to ever play the game (Gonzalez).”

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