Canadians are known for apologizing, but sometimes they really shouldn’t have to.
The Dallas Cowboys suffered a devastating loss in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs Sunday, falling 23-17 to the San Francisco 49ers. There was plenty of blame to go around, but Ottawa-born defensive tackle Neville Gallimore took to Twitter after the game to shoulder his share, while asking fans of America’s team to show a modicum of humanity to his loved ones.
“I deserve all the hate and slander. Cowboys nation, I let y’all down,” Gallimore wrote. “Put it all on me, all I ask is you leave my family out of this. I played the game, they didn’t.”
With Dallas needing a stop late in the fourth quarter, they appeared to get one on a third and long before Gallimore was called for hands to the face against centre Alex Mack. The penalty gave San Francisco a fresh set of downs and allowed them to milk almost two minutes off the clock.
The penalty wasn’t a deciding factor however, as the Cowboys did get a stop and had two more unsuccessful offensive possessions before an ill-conceived QB draw by Dak Prescott ran out the clock. Nevertheless, a segment of the Dallas fandom fixated on Gallimore’s as one of 14 penalties committed by their team, going so far as to make the Canadian fear for his family.
Heartbreakingly, Gallimore’s pinned tweet to his profile reads “I got to be the difference, my family depending on me.”
Drafted in the third round, 82nd overall in the 2020 NFL Draft after an outstanding career at the University of Oklahoma, Gallimore battled back from a dislocated elbow suffered in pre-season to be able to play the final five games of the season for his team. He was credited with three tackles in the playoff loss.
In 19 career games, Gallimore has recorded 41 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks.