National Sports

Tom Brady should face NFL fine for ‘dirty’ tackle attempt in Bucs’ loss to Cowboys, critics say

Tom Brady has the internet buzzing, but not because he’s reached another career crossroads.

In Monday’s 31-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in their NFC Wild Card Game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback attempted a soccer-style tackle that has some wondering if he’ll be facing a fine.

With his Buccaneers facing a 24-0 second-half deficit in the third quarter, Tampa Bay receiver Chris Godwin appeared to fumble on a completion from Brady. Cowboys safety Malik Hooker picked up the loose ball and returned it. At the end of the return, Brady slid feet-first into Hooker’s legs before Julio Jones tackled Hooker.

You can see video of the play here, which has drawn reaction like “Brady was really dirty right here, and deserves to be fined.”

ESPN analyst Pat McAfee: “It appears as if Tom’s still very spry ... sick slide tackle ankle kick here.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill, Jr.: “Dirty play by Tom Brady.”

Brady, who will watch the rest of the playoffs from home, didn’t draw a flag for the apparent penalty, but could be lighter in the wallet if the NFL decides to issue a fine.


Brady completed 35 of 66 passes for 351 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. The 45-year-old will be a free agent this year, and if he decides to stick around for a 24th NFL season, there’s no guarantee it will be in Tampa.

Per ESPN: “I’m gonna go home and get a good night’s sleep — as good as I can tonight,” Brady said, adding that he has no timetable for making a decision. “This has been all I’ve focused on — this game. It’ll just be one day at a time. Truly.”

The seven-time Super Bowl champion is a five-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports there will be plenty of suitors for the NFL legend in free agency should he decide to once again delay retirement. Per Yahoo Sports:

“He’ll be 46 years old and I would say there’s a chance that he does not return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite the fact that they very much want him back and plan to make efforts toward that,” Rapoport said on NFL GameDay.

“Among the teams that would consider Brady — a couple of them considered Brady last time. The Tennessee Titans still have some quarterback questions. The 49ers if they do not decide to roll with Brock Purdy, although he’s certainly stating his case. And then the Las Vegas Raiders, who have several of his old friends including Josh McDaniels.”