Jason Garrett expressed concern for Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette. But the Cowboys coach said he felt his place was on the sideline out of the way as doctors worked on Lockette, who seriously injured his neck during Sunday’s game.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett criticized Garrett for not checking on Lockette.
“I know our coach would’ve did the same thing, so I thought that was a classless play by him,” Bennett said immediately after the game.
Garrett defended his actions Monday.
“Obviously we had great concern for him when he went down,” Garrett said. “He’s a football player, and anytime a player in a competitive situation like an NFL football game goes down like that, anybody that’s played or coached in this league, or been a fan in this league, you have real concern for that. We as coaches do. Our players do. It really doesn’t matter how hard you’re competing, everything kind of stops when something like that happens. I think our players were very concerned; our coaches were concerned, I certainly was concerned.
“I don’t know that it’s my role as the head coach of the opposing team to go over there and spend time with their player. We’re trying to keep our guys away as best we could, but trust me, if you’ve been around this league for any amount of time, your concern for a situation like that, regardless of how competitive the game is, is serious.”
The Seahawks announced Monday that Lockette will undergo neck surgery to repair ligament damage at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. He will miss the rest of the season.
Lockette was injured on a hit by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath, who was penalized 15 yards for a blindside block. Garrett wouldn’t get into the “interpretation” of the rule.
“He was playing hard, and he was trying obviously to hit him the right way,” Garrett said. “They [officials] just didn’t see that.”
Heath can expect a fine this week. The minimum for a first offense blindside block is $23,152. Heath makes $34,411 per week.