Coach Ron Rivera, a former linebacker, disapproved of the hit. He said Bostic, a seven-year veteran, must be “smarter than that” and pointed out the hit happened on third and 10, when Dalton couldn’t have converted the first down.
“It’s unfortunate because we had a three-and-out right there. They could’ve had to punt,” Rivera said. “We could’ve gotten the ball back sooner. Jon’s a savvy, veteran guy, and that’s a mistake that he shouldn’t make. It’s unfortunate. Fortunately enough for us, it didn’t hurt us.”
After the game, Dalton said he didn’t remember the hit, but he felt “much better,” according to a local media report. The quarterback flew home with the team. But Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy was bothered by his team’s initial response to the hit: None of Dalton’s teammates approached Bostic afterward. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott said he wished players “would have acted stronger.”
“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another,” McCarthy told reporters. “It definitely was not the response you would expect.”
For Bostic, a middle linebacker key to the defense’s success, the ejection snapped his streak of playing all 426 of Washington’s defensive snaps this season.
Mark Maske contributed reporting.