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Cowboys Legends Troy Aikman, Drew Pearson Critical of Cowboys Offense in WC Loss

With each year the Cowboys streak of playoff failures continue, former players and coaches that helped deliver five Super Bowls to Dallas become more vocal about what's holding this team back from the since 2016 and Championship since 1995. For a team that scored more than 50 points in two of their final three regular season games, it's easy to start with 's as the reason the Cowboys lost 23-17 to the 49ers – becoming the only home team to lose on the NFL's first Super weekend.

The Cowboys allowed the 49ers to take over the game, an in turn took some of the game's best receivers out of it. For both WR and QB , it was frustrating watching a with a weakness at hold to six catches for just 64 yards and to one catch. The Cowboys were playing without their usual third starter in , but the Cowboys won six of seven regular season games they played without Gallup. helped ease the loss of Gallup by shattering his career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns, but was held to five catches with a long of 24 yards in the season-ending loss.

It was the no-show from CeeDee Lamb that particularly got to Aikman, who started Wild Card weekend by not so subtly telling FOX viewers of Eagles-Bucs that he rather be calling the Cowboys game. Aikman had his own star WR wearing #88 for some classic matchups against the 49ers, claiming that would have had ten catches by halftime against this year's SF defense.

Moore not being able to create easy completions to Lamb was compounded by the overuse of scheme that Aikman also mentioned, as his season-long struggle of consistently running Prescott's targets open was evident again. did nothing to help in this regard in his biggest game with the Cowboys, but still firmly believes whoever schemes the offense moving forward should call plays. McCarthy also described his postseason meeting with as “positive”, amid rumors he may be fired while his coordinators actively for other HC openings.

Instead of the Cowboys taking advantage of a 49ers defense that Aikman described as “scared”, McCarthy admitted his own team felt nervous going into the game, taking far too long to settle down and stage a late rally. A Cowboys team built to play from ahead and put pressure on opponents with their pass game spent the afternoon passing from behind, allowing the 49ers to stick with their and keep QB Jimmy Garoppolo in command.

Aikman's comments could fade into the blur should Kellen Moore land a head job, but there's no shortage of shared disappointment around Dallas. Even the fact that Michael Irvin never once caught ten passes in a half does little to make his comments feel anything less than painfully accurate.

There simply aren't many players, if any at all, that have proven they can win the biggest games the way the Cowboys expected Aikman or even Drew Pearson to do. While Aikman still has a platform as a national broadcaster to voice his frustrations with his former team, Pearson's comments were sought after via .

Pearson told the Zach Gelb show his confidence in Prescott is “wavering”, compounded by his $40 million contract. The QB market was hardly the same when Pearson last played, and the Cowboys had little choice but to extend Prescott given his body of work. Playing at a level early in the year, the Cowboys looked poised to make Prescott's contract a steal as the wins piled up, but Pearson noticed the team going “downhill” after they had the won in the “first seven weeks”.

The Cowboys final record against non-divisional teams was 6-5. Their week six win at the Patriots was the only one against another playoff team, not counting the sweep of an Eagles team that spent the same five minutes in this year's postseason that the Cowboys did.

Cowboys Legends Drew Pearson, Troy Aikman Critical of Cowboys Offense in WC Loss
Comments like these from former players that Jerry Jones won championships with only increases the likelihood of him considering drastic changes in the offseason. With a young core in place, and team-building maestro Will McClay on a new contract, there's also merit to the Cowboys “running it back” again – a move that will rightfully be met with skepticism by .

The next round of NFL playoff games beginning on Saturday afternoon should temporarily take the Cowboys out of the media spotlight their exit has created. It won't take their former players and coaches off the air across all of the major networks, with free range to respond to any of Aikman or Pearson's now-viral comments.

A longer playoff bracket creating an even longer and more tumultuous offseason at ? Perhaps, like Packers HC Matt LaFleur, we should have seen this coming from the Cowboys all along.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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James Vargas

It was Aikman yesterday and Kurt Warner analysis after the game blaming Dak. He really needs to step his game up. Too many errors on Daks part. I guess we are stuck with just a decent QB for years to come.

Darryl Columbus

I think with talent assemble on the offensive side of ball at skill positions was an embarrassment. With a week running game and the Cowboys not attacking their DB’s played into the 49ers hands.


Thanks I have been saying this for years now…..whats wrong with deep passes….even if you don’t connect it keeps the defense honest…Sick to my stomach over this…I know is easy when your at home but one of Daks problems is he hesitates when he’s going to run the ball…that split second gives def lineman all the time they need

Gary ‘Gaza’ Howkins

Sean, I have been following the Cowboys for 50 yrs and that was the worse display of any Cowboys team I have ever witnessed. Dak Prescott and the rest of the team should donate their pay to charity, if that is the best he can do on 2mill a game he should be ashamed of himself, they are being let off too lightly in my opinion. JJ should kick some ass, talk about shooting yourself in the foot!
It took 40mins to get some points on the board, we’re they ALL asleep.
Somebody needs to wake them up, Mike is not the guy….Nuff said.
Come back Troy and show them how it should be done.
Gaza. UK


Respectfully disagree with the “playing at an MVP early in the year, the Cowboys looked poised to make Prescott’s contract a steal”. To me, that LONG, FOOLISH contract was one of the biggest mistakes ever made by the DALLS COWBOYS in their long and great history. IMO, at no time will it be considered a steal by the team.


Besides the $40 million for the first year, they gave him a $35 million bonus = $75 MILLION for that performance??? Talk about bad ROI.

James Vargas

Sean, that is a Catch 22. Both VAM and you are right. Dak is not elite, but at the same time we havo no replacement. My frustration is with J Jones for not signing him earlier at a cheaper price, so we can arm him around with more players. The dumbest mistake by JJ is the resigning of Zeke. That one was an albatros contract.


Only problem is that they tried signing him earlier. Dak and his agent wouldn’t play ball. They wanted a short deal at an unreasonable at the time price.

Sure, they probably would have been better off biting the bullet at the time instead of getting raked over the coals for a similarly short deal at an even more unreasonable price. But, at the time, they wanted the flexibility they knew they’d need down the road to keep a very good team around him.

Instead, they had to add 2 extra voidable years in order to spread out the cap. So it’s a 4 year contract, but he’s on the books for 6. All because he and his agent wanted to get another huge contract in his prime years:

With his uneven performance and lack of progression, I doubt anyone gives him that whopping third contract he and his agent were expecting. But, at $126M guaranteed, will he really care?


Hey, I totally agree on the bad contract; but here is a view that no one is talking about that I have been telling my friends since Dak started. It seems to me Dak has all of the qualities of a Top NFL QB – leadership, work ethic, quality person, etc…..The Cowboys have surrounded him with a top 5 in the NFL receiver corp, offensive line, running back corp, defensive line, linebacker group, defensive backfield…..they hired the best special teams coach that money can buy AND they have one of the best coaching staffs in all of football. PLEASE LISTEN CAREFULLY……Dak is not even in the top 15 of NFL QB’s for the following reasons……When you watch closely….and I do……approximately 65% of Dak’s passes are between 3 to 5 feet OFF….i.e. too high which stretches the receiver out and exposes him to taking a really bad hit…..too low…at the shoe strings….behind the reciever…..which slows them down or turns them around to make the catch. Troy Aikman implies it in the broadcast and Tony Romo almost says it tooo…..but they dont go too far in their criticisim.
Dak makes these bad throws while he is not under pressure. Two times in the 49er loss he had a touchdown if he just hits the receiver “in the numbers” running in stride. Again; it is at least 65% of the time Dak makes a hard to catch “bad throw”. If you argue….Look at how good his stats are…..I would say it is because the players around him compensate for his bad passes and they are often good enough to make the play and overcome his bad pass; so the stats look really good, but the play could be significantly better with a better thrown pass.
In concluding; the best NFL QB’s are able to make a better pass and hit the receiver “in stride” “in the numbers” and it enables them to make a much better play.
The excessive penalties can be reduced and should be. However; Dak has proven to me that over multiple seasons he continues to consistantly make the same bad passes. Until the Cowboys can get a “top tier” QB; I dont think they can get to and win the last game of the season. Just my observation. Thanks for reading. Best Regards. Bill.


The loss isn’t squarely on the shoulders of their QB. penalties killed Dallas all season and it showed up on the biggest stage the playoffs against a extremely disciplined 49ers team. That lack of discipline falls on the shoulders of the head coach. The play calling on both sides of the ball needed adjustments but that didn’t happen and that falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff. I hope some changes are in the works with coaching because that is whats needed. You have the players. Better leadership gets it done.


You are 100% Correct

Alejandro casso

I completely agree I have ben a cowboys fan for 50 yes and I m ashamed of their underachieving performance mike is not a great coach Kelley’s play calling is suspect I would promote Dan Quinn quickly before he sails off to another team if only Troy would become a coach it would be much better

Gary ‘Gaza’

Perhaps the Cowboys should be the first team to introduce performance Related Pay. Pay players for what they do, rather that for what they don’t do!
As we Brit’s say ‘They are taking the P*ss’

John Lopez

Pull the trigger Jerry, make Troy your 1st GM and just sit in the owner’s suite and sip Johnny Walker Blue.


Well, at least we know the team wasn’t overconfident, leading to them coming out as flat as they did.

For a team to feel nervous or “angst” as McCarthy amended it in the linked article tells me that deep down they knew they and their teammates weren’t properly prepared, that their big wins against weak NFC East competition were a sham, and that there wasn’t much faith in the coaches to put them in the right position to win.

Apparently, they were right to be nervous. Unfortunately, it looks like there will be more of the same next season.

Jerry and Stephen seem to be willing to keep McCarthy instead of seizing the opportunity to clean house and start fresh with an all new coaching staff, except maybe “Bones”. We’ll likely lose both coordinators and possibly even Whitt as Passing Game/Secondary Coordinator. Then there will be the coaches that will follow Quinn to his new job. Add in a bunch of UFA starters and little to no money to re-sign them without a lot of restructuring and kicking the can down the road on a bunch of already bad contracts.

Now is the time to blow it up and start over. Rebuild the team under a new coaching staff while the salary cap recovers as Dak’s, Zeke’s, DLaw’s, Tron’s, and Cooper’s contracts are shed through attrition, trades or cuts.

Zeke can be cut after 2022 with $11.9M in dead money.
DLaw can be cut after 2022 with $11M in dead money.
Cooper can be cut this year with only $6M in dead money.
They can move on from Dak after 2023 with $28.9M in dead money.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Tron retired before or after this season. That’s still a $12M dead money hit vs $13.5M in salary ($17M cap hit) because of all the previous restructures.

Let a new coaching staff rebuild around a core of Parsons, Lamb, Pollard (re-sign), C. Wilson (re-sign), Zack, La’el (@ LG), Steele (re-sign), Ball (or a draft pick), Farniok (if Biadasz lags), Odighizuwa, Gallimore, Gholston, Bohanna, Diggs, Joseph, Wright, and Cox.

There would be growing pains. If they struggle a lot the first year, so be it. That would just mean a higher draft pick to get a replacement for Dak in here with a year to learn before taking over.

Cowboy Fan Ed

Ok let me start by saying that I like Dak but I don’t think he is worth 40 mill but when the season started I was with most of you guys that respond to these articles and I believe we were all ready to say ok let’s just play ball and see how everybody preforms! Now that the season is over and we all see that Dak, EE, D Law, and a few others are not worth what they are being paid then in my opinion they ALL should restructure their contracts and help the team sign the talent that we need to complete! I also thought KM was the next up and coming offensive genius but now we all know he has a long way to go!! If a team is stupid enough to sign him as their head coach I would like ole Jerry to try to bring Tony Romo out of the Broadcast Booth as our OC but the chances of that happening is slim to none! We sure need some help in Cowboy land but at least we smoked the no name WFT and the Eagles and Giants!

Mr. Football

Until the Cowboys invest in a 1st round can’t miss quarterback. The Cowboys will continue to be stuck with mediocrity.

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