Stephen A. Smith discussing Josh Allen on First Take Photo credit: ESPN

As the national sports media begins to turn on Josh Allen, Stephen A. Smith is downplaying the appetite for criticism about the Buffalo Bills.

After being a perennial NFL MVP candidate and perennial Super Bowl contender in recent years, the Bills are looking less than average this season, and Allen is receiving most of the blame. But even though he’s being criticized, losing four of their last six games while leading the league in interceptions has some fans questioning why Allen doesn’t receive the same vitriol often directed at Dak Prescott.

“Who says that Josh Allen isn’t being criticized as much as Dak Prescott? You want to know what the difference is?” Smith asked Wednesday morning on First Take.

Allen might be receiving the same level of blame that Prescott has in the past, but he’s not receiving the same amount of criticism. And according to Smith, the reason is that no one cares about Buffalo.

“Here’s the difference. No one cares. That’s the point that I’m making,” Smith said. “If you talk about Dak, it provokes dialogue. If you talk about Josh Allen, okay. It’s Bills Mafia. Outside of that, that’s it…Even the Cowboys get lost in all this. Micah Parsons, ‘Give him the same energy.’ Stop! We have given him the same energy. No one cared! So, we move on!”

ESPN is not going to pass up the opportunity to talk about the Dallas Cowboys. Even when First Take was talking about Allen on Wednesday, they had to link the segment to Prescott and the Cowboys. If there’s an avenue to talk about Prescott and the Cowboys, ESPN will take it. If there’s an avenue to talk about Allen and the Bills, ESPN will talk about Prescott and the Cowboys.

When both quarterbacks are playing well, Allen doesn’t get the same level of attention as Prescott. And when both players are playing poorly, Allen isn’t going to get the same level of criticism as Prescott. Allen’s poor play might be a topic nationally the day after a primetime game. Still, he’s never going to be forced into every conversation the way ESPN tries to subject its audience to more Prescott and the Cowboys talk. Similarly, Kawhi Leonard is not going to get the same amount of criticism with the Clippers on a six-game losing streak as LeBron James would if the Lakers were suffering through the same downfall.

“That’s what the Dallas Cowboys have got to accept,” Smith said. “Stop whining and moaning all the damn time! They’re talking about you because you’re popular.”

But Smith did just give Bills fans reason to whine and moan with his, ‘Nobody cares about Buffalo’ mantra. However, are Bills fans really hungry to turn on ESPN and see their team getting ripped right now? Maybe just relish the quiet for a bit.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to