It was only going to be a matter of time before newly appointed Dallas Cowboys play-caller Bill Callahan responded to allegations by former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown that Callahan sabotaged Super Bowl XXXVII.
Brown has been outspoken this week criticizing how Callahan handled the offensive game plan heading into the game after changing their approach at the last-minute. Fellow Raiders receiver Jerry Rice even supported Brown’s allegations against Callahan.
Callahan released a statement Tuesday night saying he is “shocked” and “saddened” by the claims against him and vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
“There are many people who are disappointed by the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVII, but none more than me,” Callahan said in a statement. “While I fully understand a competitive professional football player’s disappointment when a game’s outcome doesn’t go his team’s way, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Brown’s allegations and Jerry Rice’s support of those allegations made through various media outlets over the last twenty-four hours.
“To leave no doubt, I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations. Like every game I ever coached on the professional or collegiate level, I endeavor to the best of my professional ability to position my team to win. To suggest otherwise, especially at this time when it involves the Super Bowl, is ludicrous and defamatory. I have always honored the spirit of competition that drives us to sport as children and, for the lucky few, sustains us in adulthood.
“Any suggestion that I would undermine the integrity of the sport that I love and dedicated my life to, or dishonor the commitment I made to our players, coaches and fans, is flat out wrong. I think it would be in the best interests of all including the game America loves that these allegations be retracted immediately. I want to extend my personal and my family’s deep appreciation to the coaches, players and fans who have come forward and thoughtfully spoken out against these ill-conceived allegations.”
Callahan calling the claims “defamatory” and demanding they be “retracted immediately” seem to point toward Callahan potentially pursuing legal action against Brown if the nine-time Pro Bowler doesn’t backtrack on his comments. Quarterback Rich Gannon, linebacker Bill Romanowski and tackle Lincoln Kennedy have all come to Callahan’s defense.