Players stand up for kids; Fouts stands in for Jackson

Devin McCourty has made an impact since the first day he entered the NFL nine years ago as the Patriots’ first draft pick in 2010. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Pro Bowl selection and, for the past five years, one of the team’s captains.

But as impactful as he’s been on the field, McCourty has embarked on a new way to make his presence felt by not only joining the recently created Players Coalition but serving as chairman of its Economic and Education Advancement Committee.

This week McCourty returned to the Talk of Fame Network to discuss how last season’s National Anthem controversy expanded the Players Coalition, turned its focus to issues of social justice and led him and several teammates to lobby the Massachusetts’ state legislature to raise the age for juvenile prosecutions.

McCourty said when he and other Coalition members first learned children as young as seven could be prosecuted in Massachusetts “(it) made us jump out of our seats … It shocked us all.’’

McCourty and a number of others lobbied state legislators to bring to a vote a bill designed to raise that age limit, helping to dislodge a bill for a vote that had been stuck in committee for months.

“The activists told us … just our presence helped,’’ McCourty said. “It was a good start.’’

McCourty told the Talk of Fame Network guys that the Players Coalition intends to continue such efforts on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. He will play a significant role in deciding how to spend $89 million NFL owners have pledged to help the Coalition’s efforts over the next seven years and made clear little of this would have happened had players not begun taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem last season.

Many fans, some owners and even President Trump expressed outrage over those protests. Texans’ owner Robert McNair recently said the playing field was “no place for political statements,’’ but McCourty told the Talk of Fame Network he disagrees.

“We all found out it’s definitely the place,’’ he said.

The place for Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts on April 15 will be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., when there will be a celebration of the life of former broadcaster Keith Jackson, the man known as the voice of college football. Jackson passed away earlier this year.

Fouts worked with Jackson for many years broadcasting college football, including the 2006 National Championship game between Texas and USC, Jackson’s final game. He shared with the Talk of Fame Network his remembrances of Jackson and the power of his voice.

“His voice is synonymous with college football,’’ Fouts said. “So iconic. When you hear that voice you put down the clicker and watch. That’s rare these days.’’

What was not rare was hearing Jackson make his signature, “Whoa, Nellie!’’ call. When you tune into this week’s show on SB Nation radio network or the TuneIn app, download our free podcast at iTunes or go directly to our website, Then you’ll hear Fouts recall what compelled Jackson to once direct a “Whoa Nellie!’’ at him … on the golf course!

Also stopping by are Hall-of-Fame voter Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk to name the best Dallas Cowboys not in Canton and NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal to discuss the impact the latest rules changes will have on the league.

The guys also visit Penn State this week in Talk of Fame Network’s continuing pre-draft series on the college programs that produced the most NFL talent. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley figures to be one of the draft’s highest picks later this month, but when you think of the Nittany Lions you don’t think running backs. You think linebackers, and we have the numbers to prove it.


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  1. Rasputin
    April 6, 2018

    I would have loved to hear if Dallas voter Rick Gosselin agreed with Charean about those Cowboys meriting induction. He sat there through that interview with a stony silence. What was up with that?

    The anthem kneeling accomplished nothing but showing the American people how shallow, immature, and ignorant many NFL players are. It was telling that McCourty couldn’t even remember which shooting incident supposedly impacted him so much. The basic facts of what really happened don’t matter to him. It’s all emotion, bandwagon cause joining, and narcissism. And McCourty demonstrated no mastery of the sentencing issue he’s lobbying on. He gave no facts about how many of what ages are tried as adults, or what the other side’s argument for doing so is (has he made any mental effort to try to understand the other side?), nor did he articulate an argument for why the “change” he’s calling for would be a positive change for society. Devoid of that it sounds like McCourty is literally campaigning AGAINST justice and in favor of giving criminals lighter sentences. That’s the last thing crime-ridden communities need. Unimpressive.

  2. Rasputin
    April 6, 2018

    I’m also getting sick of the old “if they had beaten Pittsburgh in one of those SBs they’d have several more guys in” excuse. Beating Pittsburgh by double digits hasn’t helped Darren Woodson get to the Hall of Fame. The Vikings never won a Super Bowl and yet have more HoFers from the Landry era than the Cowboys do, as do several other teams. The truth it was the anti-Cowboys bias that blew up by the early 80s and raged through the 90s well into the 2000s, at least past the 2004 debacle that I’m sure Rick remembers well, that’s kept Dallas sorely underrepresented in Canton given its success on the field and the quality of its still omitted individual players.

    The consensus should form around Howley as the top priority because he’s older and you should want these guys to have the chance to enjoy their induction. He was also robbed of All Decade status (even worse than Woodson was in the 90s) so Charean shouldn’t hold that against him. Harris has fewer first team All Pro selections and overall accolade seasons so he should be the close second to Howley.

  3. Rasputin
    April 7, 2018

    Probably would have got more page views if you had mentioned Cowboys HoFers in the headline instead of featuring McCourty’s partisan Players Coalition activism crap.

    In addition to the three main guys, Harvey Martin, and Lee Roy Jordan whom Charean discussed, the next tier of Cowboys candidates who deserve a mention and are sometimes overlooked includes these guys:

    Don Perkins (FB) – 6 Pro Bowls, 1 AP first team All Pro, Ring of Honor, retired ranked 5th in career rushing yards in NFL history with those ahead and immediately behind him in the HoF, by far the best 60s RB not already in Canton.

    George Andrie – (DE) – 5 Pro Bowls, 1 first team All Pro, SB ring, 97 career sacks including leading the team in sacks 4 straight years from 64-67, 18.5 sacks in 66, more Pro Bowls than Harvey Martin or Ed Too Tall Jones, mostly played next to Lilly in the original Doomsday Defense, scored first Cowboys points in the Ice Bowl on a scoop and score fumble recovery, knocked Johnny Unitas out of SB V with a clean hit, intercepted 49ers pass in the 71 NFC championship to set up the winning TD.

    Cornell Green (DB) – 5 Pro Bowls, 3 first team All Pros, accolades at both CB and S, SB ring, 6′ 3” 200+ pound athlete was great college basketball player but didn’t play college football, was drafted by the NBA but Landry converted him into an All Pro DB, 34 career interceptions, led team in interceptions 4 years, never missed a game in 13 year career including 145 consecutive starts.

    Ed Too Tall Jones (DE) – 3 Pro Bowls, 1 first team All Pro, SB ring, 6’9″ monster was both dominant against the run and was the pass bat down king of his era though they didn’t officially keep that stat back then, first NFL player drafted #1 overall from a historically black college, key member of Doomsday’s 2nd generation, 106 career sacks, as a starter helped his team make it to 6 NFC Championship games and 3 Super Bowls, in 15 year career set record for games played as a Cowboy at 224 until Jason Witten recently surpassed it, opposing offenses had to change their normal practices to account for his presence and were often forced to direct plays to the other side, took 1979 off to pursue the dream of a boxing career in which he went 6-0 including a 44 second knock out of the heavyweight Mexican boxing champ, returned to Dallas an even better football player, a franchise bridge player who played with both Bob Lilly and Troy Aikman, batted down two separate passes by Phil Simms that were both caught by teammate Jim Jeffcoat and returned for TDs.

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