Saturday, December 20, 2014

Troy Aikman thinks the Cowboys' offense is better off with Kyle Orton than with Tony Romo

In Week 15, Troy Aikman and Joe Buck called the Packers-Cowboys game for FOX, and were dumbfounded by the Cowboys' play selection in the second half. Despite a halftime lead of 26-3, the Cowboys called 24 pass plays and just 8 run plays on a day in which RB DeMarco Murray ran the ball 18 times for 134 yards and a TD.

Troy Aikman thinks the Cowboys' offense is better off with Kyle Orton than with Tony Romo

Troy Aikman and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton. (AP Images)
Troy Aikman and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton. (AP Images)

In Week 15, Troy Aikman and Joe Buck called the Packers-Cowboys game for FOX, and were dumbfounded by the Cowboys' play selection in the second half. Despite a halftime lead of 26-3, the Cowboys called 24 pass plays and just 8 run plays on a day in which RB DeMarco Murray ran the ball 18 times for 134 yards and a TD. 

The Cowboys' refusal to run the football was universally criticized, especially against a Packers defense that is currently 26th in the NFL against the run.

Friday morning it was announced that Tony Romo was definitively ruled out against the Eagles, and that Kyle Orton would start in what is essentially a playoff game Sunday night in Dallas. Surprisingly, in Aikman's weekly appearance on WFAN with Mike Francesa, Aikman said that the Cowboys are actually better off with Orton.

"I think it was a good pickup for the Cowboys to have (Orton) as a backup, said Aikman. "He's been there now a couple of years, and he's fully capable of doing whatever they want him to do within the offense.

More coverage
 
POLL: Cole or Murray: Whose broken hand hurt his team more?
 
Word on the Birds: Eagles' playoff push
 
McLane: Eagles miss DeSean Jackson
 
WATCH: Eagles turn attention to Redskins
 
VOTE: Which NFC East QB has biggest upside?
 
WIN: Make picks in our weekly pro football contest
 
DOWNLOAD: Philly Pro Football app
 
FORUMS: Will the Eagles repeat as NFC East champs?
 
Latest NFL odds
 
Buy Eagles jerseys and other gear

"They'll probably be a little more balanced and run DeMarco Murray more in this game, especially early, and they probably should have done that in other games, and I think because of that they're going to be better on the offensive side of the ball. I expect the Cowboys to play well, at least offensively."

Aikman's comments were not meant to criticize Romo. Instead, intentional or not, Aikman's words were a scathing commentary on his former backup QB and current Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. Aikman is basically saying here that Garrett and his staff are too dumb to realize they shoud run the ball more, so much so that being forced to play a less skilled QB will force the head coach into a better gameplan.

Aikman is also wrong, for the record. The Eagles' defense this season has been strong against the run. It has allowed just 3.8 yards per carry, which is tied for 3rd in the NFL. A run-heavy approach actually plays right into the Eagles' hands. Meanwhile, the Birds' defense has not been very good against the pass, as it has allowed 7.3 yards per pass attempt, which is tied for 19th in the NFL. Having the most important player on the team watching from the sidelines is most certainly not ideal, especially against the Eagles' vulnerable secondary.

About this blog
For news, stats, video, live chats and more, Red Zone is the place to find Eagles coverage you can't get anywhere else.

Red Zone Philly.com Staff
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected