Hall of Fame quarterback-turned NFL announcer Troy Aikman responded to attempts to cancel him by an online outrage mob over a remark he made during Monday Night Football by saying that his remarks were “dumb.”
Aikman, who helped the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl champions during his legendary career, took offense at a roughing the passer call when Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones tackled Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr. It was the latest in a string of questionable calls by refs out to protect signal callers.
“I hope that the competition committee looks at this during the set of meetings and we take the dresses off,” said Aikman, 55, who was sacked 259 times in his career, and was known for his toughness. The penalty was critical, because Carr fumbled on the play. But Jones, who recovered the ball, fell on top of Carr and the refs blew the whistle. Although Kansas City still came from behind to win a thrilling 30-29 game, the play could easily have cost the Chiefs the victory.
“Yeah, I mean, my comments were dumb. Just shouldn’t have made them, just dumb remarks on my part,” Aikman said. “But the other part of … what came from that, what I said was that it implied that I’m not in favor of protecting the quarterbacks, which could not be further from the truth. I’m totally in favor of the protection that the quarterbacks are afforded, and all players for that matter. But there’s no question there has been over-enforcement of the protection for quarterbacks.”
During the interview, Aikman praised NFL officials for how they officiate the game.
“I think the officials by and large do a terrific job,” Aikman said. “It’s amazing to me, in real time, how accurate most of the time they are … It’s a thankless job that they’re in, and I don’t fault the officials so much. I do think we’re, as I said, I think we’re over-officiating it. But these are the rules. I mean, as the rule reads and if you watch that in real time, it would be hard to look at that play with Chris Jones in our game and not feel like he landed on the quarterback with his body weight, you know?”
“I would imagine that there’s been enough outcry about it that I would think that the powers that be will take a hard look at it this offseason, and see if maybe they can correct it,” he added.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.