Cowboys hoping to hear Andrew Luck's praises

BY foxsports • December 17, 2014

IRVING, Texas -- NFL players go into games expecting to hear trash talk from an opponent. What the Cowboys are preparing for Sunday in the Colts' Andrew Luck is just the opposite: the super-nice guy.

Luck, the Colts' third-year quarterback, is getting a reputation for all the nice things he says to opponents, particularly after they've hit delivered a solid hit on him.

"Great job!" and "Nice hit!" are some of the compliments opposing defensive linemen have heard from Luck as he peels himself off the turf.

"When I was in Jacksonville, he patted me and went, 'Good hit, man! Good hit!" Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "It kind of messes with you psychologically. You want to rip him in half, but then he's nice."

Luck's praise can be seen as a kind of reverse psychology. When a defender doesn't get the satisfaction of hearing a quarterback complain or wince in pain, it can be jarring.

But to those who have been around Luck, it simply appears to be part of his makeup. Luck has apparently been praising defenders since his high school days.

"He doesn't take the game personal, man. It's just work," Mincey said. "He's very, very mature for his age."

It also helps that Luck is 6-4 and a solidly built 240. He's as big or bigger than many of the people tackling him, so he can absorb the blows better.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (6-2, 230) has taken his share of shots and has the chronic back injury to prove it. He said he will occasionally drop a compliment to a tackler after getting sacked.

"Oh yeah, that happens every once in a while," Romo said. "You don't want them to do it again."

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But Romo's original response to whether he talks to tacklers was a vague, "I don't know, that's a good question" and said with a sly grin. Like most quarter-backs, Romo is often angry when he gets sacked. Clearly, Luck is a different animal.

"I think Andrew's just showing off who he is," Romo said. "He loves the game, you could tell that. I think he's got a bright future."

The Cowboys' defensive line is coming off one of its better games last week, with Mincey and defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford splitting four sacks against Philadelphia. 

Indianapolis is a pass-heavy team, so the Cowboys are hoping to get more opportunities for sacks this week. Getting ready to hear praise from Luck is part of the preparation for facing him.

"We were just talking about that," Crawford said. "He compliments guys after he gets hit or sacked. I was watching the film when they played Houston and I saw where J.J.  [Watt] sacked him. He said something to J.J. and J.J. patted him on the back. You could tell that's the kind of player he is."

If all goes well Sunday, Crawford can expect to be on the receiving end of Luck's flattery.

"I'm hoping to get a couple of compliments," Crawford said.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire

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