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“He’s got to play like an MVP. He’s got to be the best player on the field tonight. That’s the only way they’re going to win.” – Rodney Harrison on Dak Prescott

“Now we’re back in that old Chiefs mode of five- and 10-yard plays, dink and dunk. Let Alex Smith go. Let him play.” – Tony Dungy on the Chiefs

“They’re the most athletic defense in the league.” – Harrison on the Jaguars

“This is a defense no one is going to want to play in the playoffs.” – Dungy on the Vikings

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 19, 2017 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Week 11 Sunday Night Football matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Mike Tirico opened the show live from inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He was joined on site by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.

Dan Patrick co-hosted Football Night, the most-watched studio show in sports, from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Paul Burmeister reported from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, on the Patriots-Raiders game.

Football Night included NFL Insider Peter King’s interview with Cowboys TE Jason Witten, and features on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and Eagles QB Carson Wentz.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Harrison on New England defense: “When you know the game plan and you know exactly what you’re going to do, you can play fast, you can play relentless defense, and I think that’s what you’re seeing.”

Dungy: “They’ve always had hustle, they’ve always had energy. They were making mistakes early in the year, and you (Rodney) kept saying, ‘simplify, simplify.’ They’ve done it and you see the difference in the scores.”


Dungy on why Case Keenum needs to keep answering questions about being the starter: “He shouldn’t have to answer that question. His coach should say ‘Case Keenum is our quarterback.’”

Patrick: “No, Case closed!” (laughter)

Dungy: “This is a defense no one is going to want to play in the playoffs.”


Harrison on Jacksonville defense: “They’re the most athletic defense in the league. I wouldn’t say they’re the best defense, but they are very fast, they intimidate you, they bully you into making mistakes. The questions are, can Leonard Fournette stay healthy and what will Blake Bortles do in the critical moments?”

Dungy: “They’ve been building this defense for three years now -- piece by piece, brick by brick -- and it is pretty good. They have a lot of confidence. And the rest of this AFC, other than Pittsburgh and New England, is not very good so I think this defense can take them a long way.”


Harrison on what’s wrong with the Chiefs: “I think back to all the trick plays and all the gimmick plays that worked earlier in the season. They no longer work. The defenses are a lot more disciplined. You also don’t see that same passion from the defensive side of the ball. They’ve got to get back to a mentality where they line up and they just pound people, they physically pound people instead of these trick plays.”

Patrick: “If I look at the weapons, there aren’t many teams in the NFL who have the same weapons.”

Harrison: “They get too cute. Andy Reid gets too cute at times with all the different weapons.”

Dungy: “They’ve got to let Alex Smith throw some balls up the field.”

Dungy: “They have stopped making those explosive plays. We saw them taking chances, taking shots down the field, going to Tyreek Hill. I think now we’re back in that old Chiefs mode of five- and 10-yard plays, dink and dunk. Let Alex Smith go. Let him play.”


Collinsworth: “That’s when you start taking a team seriously. Not only have they won all these games in a row, but now they can win it in multiple ways. You can win it on defense. You can win it with your running game, and, of course, you can win it with that passing game.”

Tirico: “And the joy on the faces of Sean Payton and Drew Brees – guys who have been there and done it – they know they’ve got something special going again.”

Dungy on Drew Brees: “The team has a lot of confidence in him, and we talked about this last week when we were trying to determine who the best threat to the Eagles would be. Drew Brees gives you that weapon you need when you have to win a game like this.”

Harrison: “My only concern is the two miscommunications in the secondary. They gave up two touchdowns -- 14 points -- they have to get that corrected. It’s very fixable.”

Patrick: “But they’ve got good corners there, too. I mean those are Pro Bowl caliber.”

Dungy: “These were mental mistakes. These weren’t physical at all.”


Dungy on quarterback change: “For the life of me, I don’t know why they did it.”

Florio on Bills’ desire to acquire a franchise quarterback: “Keep an eye on the Bills possibly moving up (in the Draft) to get whoever they fall in love with next year.”


Dungy on Adam Gase’s post-game comments: “Coach Gase, please get out of the tank, ok. With all that went wrong -- all the penalties, all the turnovers -- look at the standings. You’re still in the Wild Card race, right in the thick of it.”

Harrison: “They’re not going to make the playoffs.”

Dungy: “They might not make it, but they’re in the race.”

Harrison: “They are 4-6. They have to play the Patriots twice, they’ve had a lot of penalties, a lot of turnovers; they need to focus on fundamentals, not the playoffs.”


Collinsworth: “It’s amazing. In their first couple of years these two baby quarterbacks, and that’s what they are, have figured out that process (of playing well in crucial situations). They’re not turning the football over, and they both still have the nerve of sailors. They’re willing to work it down the field as they’re trying to get things done. You can’t be more impressed with them on the field or off. They’re tremendous young men.”

Harrison on Dak Prescott: “He’s got to play like an MVP. He’s got to be the best player on the field tonight. That’s the only way they’re going to win.”

Dungy on Carson Wentz: “He’s got to walk that fine line. Play with aggressiveness, try to make those plays, but play under control. Don’t get overhyped and lose the game because you’re trying too hard.”

Harrison on Wentz: “He doesn’t get rattled. He shows so much poise and confidence…he hasn’t thrown an interception (while being blitzed) this year.”


Florio on Jerry Jones: “Here’s the thing, there are owners -- and more and more owners -- very upset with Jerry Jones’ antics, his tactics, his opposition, not just private, but public, and the threat of litigation if and when they get this done. But if you think that’s going to keep Jerry Jones from pursuing this, think again. He’s still intent on trying to stop this. He’s still upset with the way it’s unfolded. And he still believes that what he’s doing is in the best interest of the NFL.”


Michaels on the importance of a Super Bowl championship for the city of Philadelphia: “Nothing could eclipse a Super Bowl championship and the Lombardi Trophy in the parade down Broad Street. I’m flying in for that one.”

Harrison: “I think they are really mature. I think they’re going to embrace this moment.”


Florio: “I talked to one high-level scout – and this is a guy whose team may be very interested in a quarterback – who said that both players should stay in school for another year.”

King: “You walked off the field in Atlanta yesterday, just 13 hours ago. What hurts right now?”

Witten: “Everything hurts. I got a pretty good quad bruise. It feels like I just got hit by a truck.”

Witten on what his Mondays are like: “This Monday is different because I have three games in 12 days coming up. When you age, your body has a tougher time to recover, so that’s going to be critical for me to get out ahead of it. You’re fighting Father Time.”

King: “Do you feel sometimes on Monday, ‘How am I going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again this week?’”

Witten on if he ever wonders how he’s going to recover on Mondays: “There have been 20-25 times that I’ve said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to play on Sunday.’”

Witten on using dry-needling recovery technique: “I’ve probably been doing it for about three years…it feels great. I’m old-school, so, if it doesn’t work I’m not going to do it.”

King: “Before the needles, before the compression, before the ultra-modern pool, how did players get ready to play?”

Witten: “Those guys are just so tough. We’re spoiled. This is why you’re hearing about quarterbacks playing until they’re 45 and tight ends are playing until they’re 35-36 years old.”

Witten on if he’s paid attention to what Tom Brady has done late in life: “Certainly. Tom and his team have created a formula for all of us.”

Witten on how feels after receiving treatment: “This morning when I woke up, I wasn’t too good. But all of the work, the movement, getting it flushed out, I feel like I’m on my way to recovering. It’s almost like a different guy, and it’ll only get better from here on out.”

Witten on if spending seven hours in recovery is average for a Monday: “Yeah, it’s just another day at the office. That’s what it takes.”

King: “But it’s a day off.”

Witten: “There are no days off, Peter, you know that.”

Prescott on Wentz: “I have nothing but respect for that guy. He’s a great player.”

Wentz on Prescott: “Everyone talks about Dak and myself, and I think it’s exciting any time there are two young quarterbacks that are hopefully going to be playing in this rivalry for a long time. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done so far.”

Prescott on the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry: “When you play the Eagles, you expect it to be personal, you expect it to be a physical game.”

Wentz on the rivalry: “With the long history that we have with (the Cowboys), this is one that everybody gets pretty excited about…for the fans and for the whole city (of Philadelphia), there’s a lot that goes into this one.”

Prescott: “We’re going to go in there, show them who we are, show them what we’re about, and that this is still our division.”