The Dallas Cowboys were likely glued to the Monday Night Football clash between the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks. The Giants' season was on the line, while Seattle had a chance to move to 3-1 and send a message to the NFL that they should be taken seriously.
When the dust settled, the Giants and Daniel Jones put forth an embarrassing performance en route to a 24-3 bludgeoning.
ESPN's broadcast team Joe Buck and Troy Aikman couldn't wrap their minds around how uncompetitive the Giants were. They had zero answer for Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who put the game on ice with a 97-yard pick-six in the third quarter.
Witherspoon left an imprint on the game much earlier than the TD, however. He sacked Jones twice, racked up three QB hits and seven total tackles. He kept flying in unblocked from the nickel corner position and NY never adjusted.
Witherspoon having a coming out party with the entire country watching is awesome, but Aikman got a little too excited in the first half when he likened the No. 5 overall pick to Cowboys (and NFL) legend Deion Sanders.
Troy Aikman compared Devon Witherspoon to Cowboys legend Deion Sanders on MNF.
Anyone else yell at their TV when this happened?
Let's make it clear that we take absolutely nothing away from Witherspoon, who showed Monday night why he was the top-ranked corner in the 2023 class and why Seattle made him the No. 5 overall pick this year. On top of being lockdown in coverage, Witherspoon's willingness to seek out tackles for loss and big hits as a rookie cornerback is as impressive as it is entertaining.
That said, likening Witherspoon to arguably the greatest defensive back in NFL history was disrespectful and inaccurate on Aikman's part.
Sanders, whose Colorado Buffaloes are the draw of college football right now, is a former Defensive Player of the Year, a six-time first-team All-Pro, eight-time Pro Bowler, and two-time Super Bowl champion. He returned nine interceptions for a touchdown, doubled as a wide receiver with the Cowboys in 1996 and is one of the greatest return specialists the league has ever seen.
Sanders loved making splash days on defense. He and Witherspoon might have that in common, but the Sanders comparison would have been much more palatable after the rookie's pick-six. Even then, it wouldn't have been warranted, as Sanders wasn't known for making physical tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Again, take nothing away from Witherspoon. He was the best player on the field in his first-ever primetime game in the NFL.
Aikman should've kept this one in the drafts, though.