Washington Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen took offense to accusations made by the Dallas Cowboys that he and his fellow linemen simulated Tony Romo’s snap counts in an attempt to throw off Cowboys center Phil Costa during Monday night’s game.
Costa struggled with several of his snaps during the game and multiple times hiked the ball before Romo was ready. Romo was visibly upset during the game, giving the center repeated tongue-lashings.
Following the game, Costa blamed the Redskins, and Bowen was mentioned as a possible suspect because of his familiarity with Dallas, for whom he played the first five seasons of his career.
When asked about Costa’s claims, Bowen said, “Honestly, I don’t understand how I could simulate his snap count. Am I supposed to memorize the colors and the numbers he was saying? Honestly, I lost a lot of respect for Costa. If that was the case, then why didn’t any of their offensive linemen jump offsides? It makes no sense, because he’s lying. Just be a man and stand by your word. Everybody respects a man that tells the truth.”
The Cowboys complained during the game about what they believed were simulated snap counts coming from the Redskins’ defense, and the officials approached Bowen about them.
“Even during the game, the ref came to us and asked if we were making fake snap counts, and I looked at Barry [Cofield] like, ‘Huh? Did you make a noise? I didn’t make a noise. I didn’t even hear anything,’” Bowen said. “So for him to say that, I’m disappointed, and I lost respect in him. He’s making excuses for messing up. And they’re trying to make me out to be some guy that I’m not. I’m not that type of person. I just line up and play ball.”
Bowen said he didn’t understand what benefit Washington would have gained by a defensive lineman barking out fake snap counts.
“I don’t know how you can do it,” Bowen said. “You’re so zoned out, you’re so concentrated on your play and to give a fake snap count, you may confuse your guys and make them jump. There’s no point in that.”
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan was asked about Costa’s claims and he said they were false.
“The one thing about accusing somebody for doing something like that, especially nowadays, especially this year, is the center is mic’d,” Shanahan said. “And when the center is mic’d, you go back in audio and see if one of our players did say a snap count, and they did not.”