Troy Aikman: Punish Deflate-Gate Harsher Than Bounty-Gate

Dwayne Allen: Patriots could have played 'with soap for balls and beat us'

One three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback believes another three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback knowingly broke the rules.

Troy Aikman told Dallas radio station 1310-AM The Ticket that he believes New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knew the balls used in the AFC Championship Game lacked the requisite air pressure. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback said that the deflation wouldn’t have happened “unless the quarterback wants that to happen.”

Brady insisted at a Thursday afternoon presser, “I didn’t alter the ball in any way.” But Aikman, whose comments aired before Brady’s news conference, contends, “It’s obvious that Tom Brady had something to do with this.”

The NFL discovered that 11 of 12 footballs submitted by the Patriots for the AFC Championship Game lacked the minimum air pressure mandated by the rulebook. New England beat Indianapolis in the game 45-7 and enjoyed their greatest success once the properly inflated balls replaced the underinflated ones.

Aikman cited rules infractions by the Patriots in the past, such as the 2007 Spygate scandal involving videoing the defensive signals of the New York Jets from the sideline, to argue that the NFL should mete out a substantial punishment to the team and perhaps its coach. He referenced Sean Payton’s year-long suspension as a baseline.

The Hall of Famer opined, “To me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the Saints.”