Don’t think for a minute that the NFL is going to let the controversial ejections of Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Eagles security chief Dom DiSandro blow over.
It will be a minor miracle if DiSandro sees the field the rest of the season after he put himself in the middle of that Sunday sideline tussle with Greenlaw, who had just drawn a penalty for body-slamming DeVonta Smith. Just like that, the NFL has an issue it must deal with thoroughly and promptly.
DiSandro obviously had no business stepping into the fray when Greenlaw confronted a host of screaming Eagles players on the Eagles’ sideline, where his illegal and very nasty tackle was made. But he did, and it so stunned referee Shawn Kemp that he got in touch NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson, who explained through a pool reporter that he recommended the ejections of both Greenlaw and DiSandro.
In other words, you can get a starter ejected simply by setting him up for a tussle with a non-player.
While that did not seem to be the objective of DiSandro, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t buying the 1-for-1 swap.
“Just can’t believe someone not involved in a football game can taunt our players like that and put their hands in our guy’s face and from what I was told, Dre did it back to him and was told that he kind of mashed him in the face a little bit, so he got ejected,” Shanahan said. “It was a very frustrating play.”
At his news conference Monday, Sirianni insisted he hasn’t heard anything from the league about the DiSandro ejection. He defended DiSandro.
“Dom is as good as they get in this business,” Sirianni said. “I’m so thankful for him. He’s going to always try to diffuse situations, right? That’s what he does. That’s his job. And so obviously it was unfortunate yesterday, but I know in Dom’s heart, he truly was trying to diffuse the situation right there. I’m sad that it came to what it came to, that anybody got thrown out of the game. The play was what it was. There was a lot of emotion in that game. I’ve seen Dom do that before where he’s trying to diffuse the situation. Again, that’s what he does. Yeah, I know where his heart is and it’s truly to diffuse the situation and to stop what was going on, on the sideline.”
Sirianni said he spoke to Shanahan in a conciliatory manner after the game.
“It was really more so to say to Kyle, we respect you guys and your team,” Sirianni said. “That’s what that was about.”
It was a frustrating night for the Eagles, and the non-player antics added to it. A sideline pass doesn’t give a staff member the authority to defend himself but rather to be there, do his job and avoid conflict. It’s tough to do in a game with so much emotion, particularly when a player is piled into the turf right in front of you. But it must be done.
Also troubling was the immediate reaction, or lack thereof, from Sirianni. Though Sirianni couldn’t have prevented DiSandro’s intervention, he was right there with his security boss and the players and should have stepped up to end it himself.
All of that said, the last thing Sirianni needs is to wait for the other shoe to drop on his trusty security detail while he conjures up a game plan to take on the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium next Sunday.
The Cowboys (9-3) have won 14 straight home games. A loss this weekend and the Eagles (10-2) would have to rally to win the division, which could take away the chance to rest starters at the end of the 17-game season.
And if you thought the Eagles looked tired in the San Francisco setback, just remember that the Cowboys game marks the second straight week the Birds take on an opponent coming off a Thursday night game offering a mini bye. Didn’t see that in the schedule highlights, did you?
The Eagles made their path a little more difficult with the 42-19 loss to the 49ers, who almost single-handedly defeated them with Deebo Samuel (three touchdowns). They also fell apart in the second half for the first time in a month.
Instead of making the opposition defeat them, the Eagles self-destructed with poor tackling, substandard adjustments and in the risk department, putting quarterback Jalen Hurts back into the game in the fourth quarter after he cleared concussion protocol.
Sure, the evaluations indicated there was no reason for Hurts to be shelved. But with the way he got up after being sandwiched by linebackers Oren Brooks and Fred Warner late in the third quarter and the score when he got back in, it would have been safer to rest him for the Cowboys. The Niners were leading 35-13 when the Eagles got the ball with 10:38 left in the game. Better to have him take a long look at the hot mess the day had become and get a jump start on the solution.
Contact Bob Grotz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Berkshire mont