Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones criticized Cowboys wide receivers for running the “wrong routes” in radio interview following win over New Orleans Saints.
Assigning blame is a complicated task on any NFL play.
While a player can visibly miss a block, force a pass, drop a catch or misread a route, knowing what the mindset was on each play makes it difficult for any bystander to know what went wrong in a blown play.
But no one knows the Cowboys better than Jerry Jones thinks he does, which is why this week, he launched into a tangent about how the wide receivers are to blame for any mistakes on his Dak Prescott-led offense.
“Yes,” Jones replied to a question about whether or not Prescott is completely healthy. “The thing that you’re seeing sometimes when the pass looks errant is because the receiver… ran the wrong route, cut it off two yards shorter… That’s one of the answers, better routes.”
The injury question relating to Prescott’s injury status does make sense, as Prescott experienced one of the worst games of his career against Denver Broncos in his first game after a three-week absence. While Prescott was adamant that the injury had nothing to do with his poor performance, it hasn’t stopped speculation that Prescott’s offensive missteps are the aftermath of the injury.
Jerry Jones blames Cowboys wide receivers for Dak Prescott missteps
It’s endearing to see Jones stick up for the underrated franchise quarterback he refused to pay for so long, but throwing his team’s wide receivers under the bus to do it fractures the team-first mentality the most successful franchises put forth.
Also, if the wide receivers are running the “wrong routes” as Jones said, that would be an issue to take up with the offensive coaching staff, not the receivers themselves (unless they are all freestyling on every single play, which is unlikely).
Hall-of-Fame quarterback Kurt Warner broke down some of Prescott’s plays in his YouTube series, Study Ball. Warner explains how on the first play of the game, a Cowboys offense designed to beat a single high safety coverage got beat when it shifted into two high safety, and Prescott didn’t have a running back for a checkdown.
“First play of the game, you’ve got Dak Prscott standing here with absolutely no options whatsoever to throw the football,” Warner said.
If Prescott is out of options, that is an issue for several aspects of the offense, which includes the play design for the wideouts and the offensive line protections. Uplifting as it is to hear Jerry Jones compliment Prescott, having it come at the expense of the wide receivers proves a lacking understanding of the wide receiver’s expectations.