Fox Sports host Curt Menefee defended his colleague Troy Aikman on Sunday after Dallas Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones called the Hall of Famer an "armchair quarterback" over Aikman's in-game analysis of the team's season-opening 16-8 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
"Well Stephen we love you and everything but Troy is not armchair, he's a Hall of Famer," Menefee said during a segment on Fox NFL Sunday. "He didn't criticize the Cowboys after the fact — it was done in real time. And your team only scored eight points."
Jones had taken issue with Aikman's run-of-the-mill criticism of the Cowboys offense and it's play-calling during the Sept. 9 game. Among other things, Aikman said he was "not seeing any creativity" and said the offense wasn't the same without playmakers Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
"I just think at the end of the day, everybody can play armchair quarterback and point fingers after the fact," Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas last week. "But I think it's unfair right now to point fingers at play-calling, whether it's Dak, whether it's our receivers, I just think we gotta do a better job overall of executing and I think this thing will come together."
The comments dominated Dallas sports talk all week, but Jones wasn't the only member of the Cowboys to take issue with Aikman's criticism of the offense. Head coach Jason Garrett defended the creativity of the game he called, telling reporters he used plenty of different formations and personnel groupings in an attempt to attack Carolina's defense.
"I don't know that I would describe two tight ends and a fullback as being conservative," Garrett said.
Aikman certainly wasn't alone in criticizing the Cowboys' offense, which gained a total of just 232 yards. His broadcast partner, play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, mockingly referred to the lackluster first half as "the Dallas Cowboys' re-imagined offense," calling it "a whiff." Even Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend defended the criticism the Cowboys received during the national broadcast.
"Don't blame Aikman and Buck. They just told us the truth," Townsend wrote.
Jones eventually walked his comments back, telling reporters he simply picked the wrong words and admitted the Cowboys' offense needed to improve.
"My whole point is anytime you lose a game like that you're going have people who voice their opinions and are going to be critical. That's to be expected," Jones said. "That's the job that we're in. As an organization, we're going to be critiqued… The critics will be better when you win football games."