NFC East: Butch Johnson

Hall of Famer Irvin slips on 'Dancing' shoes

August, 17, 2009
8/17/09
12:42
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The producers of ABC's hit show, "Dancing With the Stars," have once again invited a member of the Dallas Cowboys' famed Triplets to join the show. Running back Emmitt Smith has already won the competition, so now "Dancing" has turned to Hall of Famer Michael Irvin for its upcoming season. 

Former quarterback Troy Aikman has to be wondering what he's doing wrong. Perhaps the Pretzel that he learned growing up in Henryetta, Okla., doesn't translate to television. Irvin was certainly a flashy player, but I don't recall any particular dance moves -- unless you count the exaggerated first-down signals. If you're looking for the best on-the-field dancer in Cowboys history, you'd have to go with Butch Johnson, whose California Quake was an important part of my childhood. Former Dallas Morning News columnist David Casstevens compared the two players when Irvin was drafted by the Cowboys in 1988. 

Since parting ways with ESPN, Irvin has slowly but surely built his own media empire. He hosts a daily radio show on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas and he created and starred in a reality show on Spike TV called "Fourth and Long." Now, he'll think back to his time on South Beach during college and try to beat a star-studded field. 

Something tells me Irvin will be able to outlast former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, although I'm told DeLay's Foxtrot is something to behold. Irvin will also square off with Donny Osmond. Sources close to the NFC East blog revealed that Irvin has been watching Osmond's old performances in the Broadway hit, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in preparation for his appearance on "Dancing." 

Since my side gig in Dallas allows me to see Irvin on a daily basis, I'll ask him about the show. Is there anything you guys would like me to ask him on your behalf? 

Tom Bergeron, the affable co-host of the show, made this shocking announcement on "Good Morning America" on Monday:

"In the middle of our season, over three weeks, we're going to have double eliminations," Bergeron said. "We'll lose about half of our cast within that period. It will be a ballroom bloodbath."

Here's a prediction that I'll guarantee: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be in the studio audience for at least one show.  

League official explains T.O. penalty

September, 10, 2008
9/10/08
9:59
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
 
 Icon SMI
 Terrell Owens' celebration drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sunday.

Now that Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips has complained about the "hidden" rule responsible for Terrell Owens' 15-yard penalty following his Usain Bolt tribute Sunday, the league's supervisor of officials Mike Pereira felt the need to clarify.

"You've just got to stay on your feet," Pereira told the New York Times on Monday.

Asked why players aren't flagged for kneeling to pray after scores and first downs, Pereira said, "I do not want to get struck by lightning."

See, it's possible for someone in the league to have a sense of humor. Pereira also said the Lambeau Leap was allowed because it's classified as a spontaneous display of emotion and doesn't normally involve teammates. And while I have no problem with the Leap, let's not say it's a spontaneous reaction. When something has been done by a team for years, it's no longer spontaneous.

I'd love for someone to do something completely radical, like flipping the ball back to the official. That's the way Herschel Walker used to do it. It always gave the impression that he'd been there before and planned on returning soon.

But there's still a place in the league for Billy "White Shoes" Johnson's dancing and Butch Johnson's "California Quake." The league just needs to get over itself and realize that someone touching the ground isn't going to ruin the youth of America.

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