NFL Probing Giants’ Use of Two-way Radios in Win Over Cowboys
ESPN’s Todd Archer reported Friday that the NFL is investigating the New York Giants’ use of a two-way walkie talkie system in the late stages of their win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night.
The Giants were reportedly experiencing problems with their headsets, which forced head coach Ben McAdoo to use a walkie-talkie in order to relay plays to quarterback Eli Manning during the fourth quarter. NFL rules ban coaches from using two-way radios during games.
ESPN also says that the Cowboys have not filed an official complaint with the league, but that the NFL had already undertaken an investigation of their own.
Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones, son of owner Jerry Jones, would not confirm or deny that they had contacted the league on the matter. He did say, though, that the team does not believe the Giants’ use of walkie talkies played a part in the outcome of the game.
Why can’t coaches use two-way radios?
The rule is in place so that coaches are not allowed to maintain contact with a quarterback throughout a play.
A cutoff switch operator silences communications between coaches and players’ headsets when there are 15 seconds left on the play clock prior to any given play. Because the cutoff switch operator did not have access to the two-way radios the Giants were utilizing, there would be no way for that person to stop the Giants from potentially breaking the rule.
Backup quarterbacks are allowed to hold two-way radios but are banned from speaking into them.
The Giants also declined to comment. Manning was forced to go to the sideline to retrieve play calls once the headsets stopped working (via the New York Post):
“I just wasn’t getting anything, so I had to run to the sideline to get the plays. Four plays maybe, we don’t have signals for stuff. It happened to be all run plays. If it’s pass plays, [backup quarterback Ryan] Nassib or somebody could signal them to me. I had to run to the sideline, sometimes he was giving it to Odell [Beckham Jr.] right there, and Odell would run to me and get the play in. Like high school.”
Communications were eventually restored, but Manning claimed to be unaware that McAdoo was using a walkie talkie in order to get back into Manning’s ear.
The win improved New York’s record to 9-4 on the year, good for second place in the NFC East. The Giants currently hold the first NFC Wild Card slot, with the Buccaneers, Redskins, Vikings and Packers on their heels.
The Dallas defeat dropped them to 11-2, though they are still comfortably ahead of New York in the division. Both of their losses have come at the hands of the Giants.
Dallas will host Tampa Bay on Sunday night, while the Giants will welcome the Detroit Lions to town that afternoon.
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