Wednesday’s edition of ProFootballTalkLive featured an extended discussion with former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, who now appears on NBC’s Football Night in America.
Before talking about this weekend’s games, Dungy addressed the possibility of a lockout. And it’s safe to say that Dungy doesn’t agree with the assessment of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that a lockout would not be disastrous.
“[W]e’ve got to find a middle ground,” Dungy said. “And that’s where in the past the Dan Rooneys, Wellington Maras, those guys have been so good at doing that. At saying, ‘Hey, you know what, we’ve got to give a little. Let’s sit down at the table, let’s work. Let’s work together.’
“Gene Upshaw, you know, he got criticized for being too close to the Commissioner. But it was the same thing. We’ve got to find a middle ground that’s good for both sides. And my fear is that we don’t have enough Wellington Mara, Dan Rooney, Gene Upshaw-type people, and if that’s the case and if this does come into a full-blown lockout, I think it will be disastrous. I really do.”
We fear that Dungy’s fear is justified. No one currently seems to be putting the broader interests of the game above self interests. The closest anyone has come to doing so is Commissioner Roger Goodell. And while he said on the same edition of PFT Live that “I have to do what is in the best interest of everybody associated with the game, including our fans,” we’re not so sure that the owners will see it that way when it’s time to decide whether to lock the players out until they accept the owners’ terms.
Hopefully, Dan Rooney or Robert Kraft or someone else will stand up with Goodell at the proper time and persuade the rest of the owners to “give a little” in order to avoid losing a lot. Hopefully, someone from the players’ side of the equation will do the same.