AUSTIN, Texas - What was supposed to be a routine television interview became a much talked about escapade.
Barry Switzer's live interview Thursday night with WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen turned into an animated rebuttal as Switzer screamed often and playfully punched Hansen in the shoulder to emphasize each point.
It all started early Thursday morning when Hansen reported on Norm Hitzges' KLIF radio show that there's dissension on the Dallas coaching staff. During the six-minute live TV interview, Switzer brought the subject up, denied the report, and then accused Hansen of "fabricating stories. " "You're the guy who walked up to (owner) Jerry (Jones) last week and you said Tony Casillas had a brain tumor," Switzer screamed.
"You guys manufacture everything. 'Oh, I've got a radiologist'. . . " "Did you ever see that story on the air? " Hansen asked.
"No, but you went over and told Jerry that," Switzer said.
"I did not tell him that. I asked a question. " "You were false about that. . . " Switzer screamed.
When Hansen said coaches and players want the head coach to step in and stop the dissension on the staff, Switzer responded: "I don't think you know what you're talking about and they don't either, Dale Hansen. There is no problem here on this staff of the Dallas Cowboys, I can promise you that. " During the interview, Switzer denied there's an internal power struggle among his coaches. "They know who the boss is and I am the boss. Don't you ever question that and Jerry Jones knows that, too. .
. I can go back and sit on my couch any day because I came to Dallas with more money than Jimmy (Johnson) left with. " Switzer and Hansen continued to trade barbs, even after the cameras were turned off. Two minutes later, Switzer left in a golf cart driven by scouting director Larry Lacewell.
"I was just having fun with Dale," Switzer said Friday after practice at St. Edward's University, the final practice in Austin.
"I thought it was great TV. " Hansen, who also does color commentary for the Cowboys radio network, said the primary reason the incident is receiving so much attention is "it's been a boring camp. If Emmitt Smith broke his leg today everybody wouldn't be talking about it. " But Smith didn't break his leg. Since the baseball strike is old news, the Switzer-Hansen interview was discussed ad nauseam on radio talk shows all day Friday. While talk-show hosts defended Hansen, saying he was doing his job, some callers said Hansen is arrogant. They said Switzer had every right to give an animated rebuttal.