NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger is catching some heat after suggesting that the Philadelphia Eagles "put a little bounty" on Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott when the two teams face off on Sunday.
"This is the guy that that we've got to hurt," Baldinger said Friday on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly. "This is the guy that we've got to take out of the game. There's got to be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott."
Here is the complete rant, which gets a little bizarre:
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They've got this running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth pick in the draft. He shows up at the draft in New York with a belly shirt on, a tuxedo collar, just arrogance. Just screams arrogance. The powder blue shirt. He's got 703 yards. He leads the league in rushing. Everybody talks about how good the offensive line is. He's the difference maker. And it just bugs me. If I'm Jim Schwartz right now, I'm putting a picture of Ezekiel Elliott in that belly shirt from the draft up there. This is the guy that right now, the Cowboys are making their bell cow. He's their leader, he's what makes it go. The quarterback's been good, but this is the guy. It's the running game, it's the time of possession. And I just want you guys to have the same amount of… I want you guys to be irked like I am. I want you to go to bed tonight thinking about this guy, and how pretty he is, and how good he is, because all these backs are the same. They're all pretty, and they're all special, and they do all these commercials until they just get tattooed. Until you just pound them into the turf. Until you just drill 'em. Until their head hurts. So that bumble bee is flying around in their helmet, so he just didn't know how hard he just got blasted. You can do the stuff at Ohio State, you can do it in the first six weeks of the season, and you can be in first place and everybody in Dallas can tell you that there's Emmitt Smith, there's Tony Dorsett, and now there's Ezekiel. Well he hasn't been hit by an Eagle yet. He hasn't been tattooed into that pretty little turf that Jerry built down there. Where the ball just comes apart from the body. There it is attached to the rib, and it becomes an appendage just floating around inside of AT&T Stadium. This is the guy that we gotta hurt. This is the guy that we gotta take out of the game. There's gotta be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott. Let's get to Alfred Morris. I'm sick of hearing everybody talk about how good the offensive line is, and how good this guy is. This is the guy that makes them go. This is the guy we've gotta take out.
Baldinger, who played for both the Eagles and Cowboys during his NFL career, tweeted that the rant was "mostly tongue in cheek."
@GarlicFriesBeer lighten up ..it was mostly tongue in cheek... The only point was that Zeke hasn't been popped yet— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 28, 2016
But critics pointed out how inappropriate it is for someone who works, by extension, for the NFL to be promoting the idea of bounties and intentionally trying to injure players.
Brian Baldinger suggests Eagles put bounty on Zeke because of his "arrogance"? Hope Cowboys put that on their bulletin board.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 29, 2016
@BaldyNFL you were pandering to the meatheads in Philly. Inappropriate for an NFL employee to take it to bounties. 5 on scale of 10— GarlicFriesAndBeer (@GarlicFriesBeer) October 28, 2016