Former Cowboy Rayfield Wright wants NFL to help players more

Posted Thursday, Jun. 05, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Rayfield Wright says the blows to his head over a 13-year career has him “at war within himself.”

Wright, 68, is one of more than 4,000 athletes suing the NFL over concussion-related brain injuries.

The NFL proposed a $765 million settlement, but a federal judge preliminarily rejected it in January, citing concerns that it may not be enough compensation to pay all claimants.

Also in January, Wright told The New York Times that he has dementia.

Speaking while attending the Retired NFL Players Congress Summit in Arlington over the weekend, Wright said he felt pressured to play even when he was hurt.

“There’s no question there was pressure. Going back out on the field, or something of that nature, after you got injured was part of the game,” Wright said. “But most of the players that have played the game for any length of time and even players that played for a short time have issues.”

Wright, whose career spanned from 1967 to 1979, played tight end, tackle and defensive end during his first three seasons before settling in at right tackle.

“For whatever reasons, so many things have happened that we were not aware of when we played the game. All the things that have gone on behind the scenes are just coming out.

“I think it’s a good thing that they are coming out so that students and young kids, even in pee wee football, can really look at the game itself and show them the detrimental things about playing the game.

“It’s one of the greatest games, but when you’re out there playing and competing, you don’t even think about that, you just want to play the game.”

Wright says the league can do more for its former players. He denied The New York Times report that his NFL pension was $82 per month.

“That was incorrect. Those were statements made by one of my representatives and it’s not correct,” Wright said. “But the pensions themselves are too low. Players should be taken care of. We’re the ones that built the game.”

Wright said the many rule changes have altered the look of the game.

“It’s changed a lot for a lot of different reasons. I think that’s good for the game that it’s changed, but for me when I watch the game, it doesn’t seem like real football,” Wright said. “There’s so many rule changes, especially on the offensive line.

“Today’s linemen can reach out and grab a guy and they can grab each other and it just becomes a wrestling match. That’s why some guys weigh as much as they do now.

“As far as linemen are concerned, the game is not as fast for linemen because a lineman’s game is 10 yards. So it’s about how quickly you can get from point A to point B. You can get a guy 350 pounds to run a 4.5 40-yard dash, but that doesn’t mean anything to me. I want to know how quickly he can get from point A to point B.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, August 21Full Scoreboard
Houston0Final | Box
NY Yankees «3
Cleveland1Final | Box
Minnesota «4
Detroit0Final | Box
Tampa Bay «1
Arizona0Final | Box
Washington «1
San Francisco1Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «2Ballpark Replay
LA Angels2Top 7th | Box
Boston0@theBallpark | TV: MLB Net, FSN-W, NESN
Atlanta8Top 6th | Box
Cincinnati0@theBallpark | TV: MLB Net, SPSO, FSN-OH
San Francisco1Bottom 1st | Box
Chicago Cubs0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, CSN-CHI
San Diego 8/21 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: FSN-SD, SportsNet LA
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, August 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Pittsburgh0 Half Time | Box
Philadelphia17TV: NFL Network, KDKA, 6ABC
Friday
Jacksonville 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: WXYZ7
Carolina 7:30 PM ET
New England TV: Panthers TV, WBZ
NY Giants 7:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS 2
Oakland 8:00 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Chicago 10:00 PM ET
Seattle TV: NFL Net, FOX32, Q13FOX
Saturday
Tampa Bay 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo TV: NFL Network, WFLA
Tennessee 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: WKRN, CW69
Dallas 7:00 PM ET
Miami TV: KTVT, CBS11, CBS4
Washington 7:30 PM ET
Baltimore TV: NBC4, CSN-DC, WBAL
St. Louis 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: WKYC
New Orleans 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Minnesota 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: KARE 11, KCTV
Houston 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: KTRK, KUSA
Sunday
San Diego 4:00 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
Cincinnati 8:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: NBC
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, August 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard