In a recent interview with Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Hall of Famer and NFL analyst Michael Irvin did not hold back on sharing his frustrations with the current Dallas Cowboys. Irvin, who is known for his rants and hot takes as a broadcaster, listed several concerns he had about America’s Team.
Keep in mind that the 5x Pro Bowler is probably one of the biggest Cowboys supporters out there. He wants this team to succeed. The Hall of Famer is even willing to sit across from Dallas hater Stephen A. Smith on “First Take” and vouch for his team. But, it appears this offseason has “The Playmaker” concerned.
To start, Irvin believes the team doesn’t have the willpower to win games. He expressed that this sport takes more will than it does skill, which echoed what another Cowboys legend, Emmitt Smith, said about Dallas recently. Smith said he felt Dallas didn’t have the mental toughness to make it far enough in games. But on the note of will vs. skill, the former wide receiver also seemed unhappy with the team’s offseason choices so far this year.
While Jerry and Stephen Jones have been adamantly trying to convince reporters that all of their decisions have been well calculated and well done, Irvin said the team has lost too much talent given the exits of Amari Cooper, La’el Collins, Randy Gregory, Connor Williams, and Cedrick Wilson. In fact, the NFL legend said this year’s team is worst than last year’s roster.
"“They have lost talent. They are not a better team talent-wise. This game doesn’t require skill. It requires will. If a team loses a little bit of skill but gains greater will, they call still do great things. If the Cowboys can take the disappointment of that defeat against San Francisco — beating you at home — if they can take that and internalize it in the offseason and come with less skill and more will and have a better season.”"
Michael Irvin calls out the Dallas Cowboys for lack of willpower and says the team has lost a lot of talent
Given the quote above, it seems like Irvin feels that Cowboys Nation is taking the brunt of the embarrassing Wild Card loss harder than the team itself. If they truly sit in this loss and use that frustration to power themselves to prove something in 2022, improvements can be made. A star-studded roster shouldn’t be the only home team to lose a game in the first round. Maybe the lack of desire rather than the skill is what kept them from moving forward. A renewed drive is what Irvin wants to see in 2022.
"“They are not as skilled as they were last year. When you lack skill, you have to overcome it with will and togetherness. A man’s greatest promise comes from their greatest pain. If they felt the pain like we felt and like those fans — I want to see them jokers on the field cry like that. I want it to hurt them like that."
He’s not wrong. When most well-respected athletes (collegiate or pro) lose an important game, you see extreme dejection on the sideline. Players have stayed on the field to watch their opponents celebrate to let that bitterness sink in and fuel them. We didn’t see that with Dallas. We saw more frustration from the fans.
Maybe the players don’t need to get as animated and fired-up as Irvin himself, but they do need to show more hunger to make it further. Remember that the Cowboys haven’t made it to a conference championship in 11 straight playoff appearances. How does that not light a fire inside you to prove everyone wrong?
“I haven’t seen that. I hope they cry like karate men, on the inside. But I haven’t seen it outside,” Irvin said. Not sure what crying like karate men means, but the Cowboys legend does have a point. This team needs to step up its mental game and drive in order to get where it wants to be.