The 2021 season for the Dallas Cowboys was a major disappointment. The expectations were that they were going to win the NFC East and they did by going 6-0 in division play. However, this organization is about winning Super Bowls, not division titles.
Hall of Famer and Cowboys legend Troy Aikman knows what it takes to win championships as he led the organization to three Super Bowls in the 1990s. When asked about the Cowboys playoff letdown against the San Francisco 49ers, he was brutally honest when talking about what the team needs to do to get back to the Super Bowl.
“Changing the coach is one thing, but you have to look at how things are run out there. I talk to people in the building and from what I hear is that there's a lot of dysfunction,” Aikman said.
Mike McCarthy has been under fire for not having the Cowboys prepared for a home playoff game and claiming the team was “nervous” before taking on the 49ers. He did coach the Cowboys to 12 wins, but without any victories in the postseason, it made the 2021 campaign nothing more than a wasted opportunity which isn't an uncommon feeling in Dallas over the last decade with some of the promising teams they've had.
When asked about what grade he would give McCarthy for this season, Aikman had this to say.
“I think as far as grading Mike, I think most people would probably say it’s a C just because you come into the season and it’s really what you’re going to do in the postseason,” Aikman said. “Fairly or unfairly, and I think it’s fair, you know, the expectations are certainly high for the team, and they should be. It’s a talented team.”
Aikman didn't stop there. The Cowboys' early playoff exit was a continuation of a quarter-century of unfulfilled expectations. The 2021 season was the fourth double-digit win total for the Cowboys since 2014 and the second time their season has ended with a loss at home in the postseason over that span.
The former No. 1 pick took the gloves off when talking about the Cowboys' playoff failures as of late, comparing them to two of the NFL's worst franchises.
“If you don't do anything in the postseason, then you're really at the end of the day, no different than the Jacksonville Jaguars or the New York Jets that didn't get in (to the playoffs),” Aikman said.
That was a harsh but understandable critique from Aikman and it will continue as long as the Cowboys keep having these empty playoff appearances.