NEW YORK Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams was suspended without pay for one game Monday by the NFL after his third illegal "horse collar" tackle of the season.
Williams, whose use of the tactic led to the league passing a rule making it a 15-yard penalty, did it against Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in Sunday's 10-6 loss. He will miss Saturday night's game at Carolina, which will cost him $35,000 one game's salary.
Grabbing the inside collar of the back of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling down a runner brings a 15-yard personal foul.
"He's real strong, especially with his hands. You go to your strength, so he's going to grab somebody with his hands," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said Monday, before the punishment was announced. "And the way it is now, they tape those jerseys in the back, so you can't grab them, you can't hold on to them. The only thing you can grab is something behind him. And he's coming from behind, he has to learn to lay out. But what he's used to doing is grabbing them, because he's so strong with his hands. He hasn't been able to break that habit, obviously."
This was the fourth violation of the rule by Williams in the past two seasons. Williams was fined $12,500 for such a tackle against Chicago on Sept. 23, and $15,000 for the same violation against Buffalo on Oct. 8. He received a $10,000 fine for a "horse collar" tackle against the New York Giants on Oct. 23, 2006.
Phillips said Monday he didn't expect any league action.
"It wasn't against the rules until a couple years ago," Phillips said. "But that's the rule and we need to abide by it. He just going to have to learn to do it different. And he passed it up a couple times in that game."