NFLN survey/player safety: Cowboys

IRVING, Texas -- As the NFL prepares for its 18th straight Super Bowl that will not feature the Dallas Cowboys, it is easy to see why six of the 10 Cowboys asked anonymously said they would play in the big game with a concussion.

It’s a majority, although not overwhelming, but it speaks to a player’s willingness to do whatever he can to live in the moment and not worry about his long-term health. The NFL is attempting to change that with its concussion protocol the last few years but the old-school mentality remains.

“You think I’d sit out the Super Bowl?” one player said. “You’re nuts.”

That four players would think of their long-term health would have to be encouraging to the NFL.

As would the seven respondents who believe the NFL is committed to player safety. There was much talk about the league forcing players to wear knee and thigh pads. Jason Garrett mandated it during practices for the Cowboys. Only once in training camp did he have to send players back to the locker room for their full pads.

The previous generations of NFL players might not believe the league was on their side when it came to their health, but those asked on the Cowboys believe that is the case.