Cowboys safety Ahmad Dixon was flagged in the fourth quarter for unnecessary roughness because of a hit he put on a defenseless receiver.
It’s sure to draw him a fine from the NFL and a stern talk from coach Jason Garrett.
Dixon, a seventh-round pick from Baylor who drew flags for similar hits in college, said he is not going to change the way he plays.
“I’m not going to change how I play,” Dixon said. “I’m a physical guy. That’s what I came here for. That’s why they drafted me .. to be physical.
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“All I can do is try to learn from it. I’m still going to be physical. I’m not going to stop hitting people. That’s what I’m here for. That’s what I do.”
Garrett knows full well about Dixon’s history in college and expects him to learn and adapt his game to the rules of the league. The Cowboys like Dixon’s physical style of play, but they also want him to play smart and not draw penalties that could hurt the team.
“You want to be a smart football player,” Garrett said. “You want to be a guy we can trust. Just because you’re a guy who can make big, impact hits doesn’t mean we’re going to tolerate penalties. That’s not what we’re going to do. Hopefully he can learn from that situation and understand how they’re going to call the game at this level.”
Dixon, however, doesn’t think he did anything wrong and as of now doesn’t plan to change.
“I don’t never think I did something wrong when I’m making hits,” Dixon said. “I’m just out here playing ball. People might try to say, ‘He is stupid. He does this. He does that.’ But when you are taught how to play a certain way for a certain amount of years...then you got to all of sudden adjust how you play completely? It is what it is.”
Dixon also said being fined by the league won’t alter his game either.
“I’m not going to say I don’t care,” Dixon said. “But I’m playing ball. If I got to take a fine every week for me to play ball I will do that.
“That’s what I do.”
Fellow Cowboys safeties J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church said the fines have a way of convincing a player to change his ways.
“He’ll learn, especially once your bank account starts getting low,” Wilcox said.
Said Church: “You learn that with experience. It’s his rookie year, but you’ve definitely got to learn how to pull up. The receiver had his hands down, the ball was clearly overthrown, so you just have to learn to let up and wave by him so he knows your presence is there. His presence alone had the guy kind of short arm it, so I don’t think he needed to go near it. If you do go in there, just keep your head up and make sure you don’t collide helmet to helmet because that’s going to cost him a pretty penny.”