Get your popcorn ready.
Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin plans to confront NFL Network colleague and Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson for accusing Ezekiel Elliott of “quitting on his team” in the Dallas Cowboys’ 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday.
A livid Irvin declared his intentions during a radio interview on New York’s WFAN.
Irvin said quitter is the “dirtiest” word you can call an NFL player.
“It’s a different subject in this game, in this sport, because of the commitment that each man makes to all 53 guys that’s on that football field, that’s required to play this game,” Irvin said. “It’s the dirtiest word, guys.”
Stay tuned for the NFL Network’s two pregame shows before Thursday night’s telecast between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. Irvin and Tomlinson will be on set together on “Thursday Night Football GameDay” and “Football Night in San Francisco,” per the Sporting News.
That’s when Irvin plans to confront Tomlinson, the former TCU star who had a Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets.
Irvin spent much of Tuesday defending Elliott on Twitter.
Tomlinson has not backed down from his statements on NFL Network’s Sunday night postgame show when he said Elliott, the defending NFL rushing champion, ‘quit’ on his team as he struggled for a career-low 8 yards on nine carries against the Broncos.
“First his attitude on the sideline,” said Tomlinson, when asked how Elliott quit. “Clearly, he didn’t have any communication with his teammates. But also, he didn’t want to talk to his teammates. Some times when things are going wrong, as a leader of that team, as a captain, you have to step up and rally the troops. You have to go to the offensive line and say, ‘I know it’s tough but let’s keep battling, let’s keep fighting.’ You have to go to the quarterback and say, ‘Hey man, I’m not getting it done today – you have to step it up.’
“You have to rally the troops. ... They need him to do that because last year, he led the league in rushing. So everybody is looking at him as the top dog. So if you want to be the top dog, you have to do it on and off the field.”
Tomlinson said the Broncos might have found the blueprint to stop the Cowboys’ vaunted offense by loading up on the run and forcing quarterback Dak Prescott to beat them through the air. Then, again, he said Elliott quit.
“What Denver did, they just laid out the blueprint,” Tomlinson said. “I was surprised by how physical they were, the Denver Broncos against this offensive line. Zeke, to his credit, he didn’t have any room today. He was running, getting hit in the backfield, making moves in the backfield. But all of that is OK. I didn’t like the way he quit today. I didn’t like that. He absolutely quit on his team today.”