Troy Aikman rips Cowboys coaches over 1 specific mistake against 49ers
The Dallas Cowboys could have done a lot better with all phases of the game in their loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but franchise legend Troy Aikman feels they really fell short in one particular area.
CeeDee Lamb, who had more than 1,100 yards receiving during the regular season, caught just one pass for 21 yards in the 23-17 loss to the Niners. He was targeted five times. During an appearance on 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas on Wednesday, Aikman ripped the Cowboys for failing to identify that San Francisco was playing single coverage on Lamb and challenging Dak Prescott to throw Lamb’s way.
“I hate going back to (when I was playing) because nobody cares, but what I see around the league, it’s not just Dallas, I’ve seen it with a lot of teams, a lot of these offenses want to scheme things,” Aikman said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “The coordinators, it’s all about scheme rather than (saying), ‘This corner is playing soft. He’s scared to death.’ Just run the route tree. Run a dig route. Run a curl. Run anything. You’re going to complete the pass whenever you want.
“(Michael Irvin) would’ve had 10 catches at halftime if they played us the way they played CeeDee lamb in that game. … The game is not that difficult. If I’ve got a great player at wide receiver and a corner is playing him single coverage, throw him the ball. He’s going to win most of the time.”
Some of the blame for that falls on Dak Prescott. Even if the coaches weren’t calling Lamb’s number frequently enough, Prescott and other great quarterbacks almost always have the freedom to change a play based on what the defense is showing. If Lamb could have had as many easy catches as Aikman says, both Prescott and Dallas’ coaches should have recognized that.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore certainly did not call their best game. They made a massive mistake on the final play, but the issues ran deeper than that. Aikman’s criticism helped highlight some of what went wrong for his former team.
Photo: Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports