After the Dallas Cowboys blamed their playoff loss on Dak Prescott, Skip Bayless wonders if Jerry Jones was behind the surprisingly blunt criticism.
Sunday night, the Cowboys’ official Twitter account posted a tweet that blamed Prescott for their divisional round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers just hours earlier. In the days following, the team has been slammed for its choice words.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 23, 2023
“Dak Prescott gave away the ball twice in the narrow loss to the 49ers, in a matchup the Cowboys had a chance to win if they didn’t again generate self-inflicted wounds,” the tweet (promoting a story from Cowboys.com staff writer Patrik Walker, headlined “Dak on Loss to 49ers: ‘Unacceptable, 100% On Me'”) read. And on Tuesday morning, Undisputed’s Shannon Sharpe slammed the Cowboys’ social media account handler for throwing Prescott under the bus. Sharpe noted NFL teams are usually very cautious about the content they post. But Bayless speculated that the controversial tweet was sent under the authority of Jerry Jones.
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 24, 2023
“This website does have the reputation for being, if I dare say, pretty objective after a Cowboy loss,” Bayless said of the team’s official website. “Jerry gives them carte blanche to at least be gently, mildly critical, and has for years.”
“He’s of the school of ‘Any publicity is good publicity,’ because they just love publicity,” Bayless continued on Undisputed. “It’s pretty shocking as the NFL norm goes when it comes to these websites that they would go this far.”
The tweet linked to Walker’s larger story about Prescott and the Cowboys, and the damning caption used in the tweet was pulled from that article. Prescott probably does deserve most of the blame for the Cowboys playoff loss to the 49ers after averaging 5.6 yards per pass attempt, throwing two interceptions, and leading their offense to just 12 points. But while Prescott can take blame and fans can place blame, the team’s official Twitter account openly trashing their star quarterback is an unheard of tactic.
“I don’t know the inner workings there,” Bayless said of the Cowboys social media team. “Could a family member or a close family friend (of Jerry Jones) be sort of in charge of this? It’s possible. I’m going to go one step farther with you. Is it possible that Jerry made it clear after the game that it’s now open season on Dak? It’s possible.”
Maybe Bayless is right. Obviously, Jerry Jones wasn’t sitting behind a keyboard typing the tweet that slighted Prescott. But considering the backlash its receiving, wouldn’t the tweet have been deleted by now if it was sent without Jones’ approval?
The benefit of going “open season” on Prescott still bears wondering. At 80 years old, Jones is getting antsy to see another Cowboys Super Bowl while he can still enjoy it. And maybe he’s starting to feel like the time plateaued with Prescott at quarterback. But there’s still no value in using social media to start an internal war with your star quarterback.