Troy Aikman Joins Charles Haley, Tony Dorsett in Criticism of Dallas Cowboys

Gene StrotherCorrespondent IIIOctober 28, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Troy Aikman attends the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game between the Green Bay Packers the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Packers  51-45 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In recent days, former Dallas Cowboys greats have weighed in on the state of the current team.

During an ESPN Chalk Talk before Monday night's game, five-time Super Bowl winner Charles Haley and legendary running back Tony Dorsett minced no words in their assessment of the group currently wearing the star they so proudly wore all those years ago.

Dorsett tried to check himself, but ultimately whatever truth serum they had injected into him took over.

"It's really hard to say what I really want to say," Tony said. "They're a bunch of underachievers. Coming into the season on paper these guys are one of the best teams in the league. They are talent-wise.

"For some reason when you start earning your money that's when it starts falling apart. They start making silly mistakes. They're not concentrating. They're having awful turnovers and penalties. That comes from practice.

"Then you look at it from a leadership area. You know, when I played ball, it was understood that if you didn't do your job, somebody else was going to come on the field for you. These guys get paid a lot of money to do their jobs and they're not doing them in a consistent manner.

"If a guy's not doing his job, call him out. Get in somebody's face, man. This thing can be corrected very easily...Sometimes you've got to put some fear into these guys' hearts to play to their potential."

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Think that is a shot at Wade Phillips and his "leadership" style? Me too.

Charles Haley, never one to worry too much about what you think of what he says, was more to the point: "A bunch of guys on this team think they're stars, and they don't want to do the dirty work."

If the current players have an ounce of pride, it has to sting to hear the men whose shoes they now strive to fill calling them out.

And now this: On KTCK The Ticket this morning, Troy Aikman was doing his weekly show with George Dunham and Craig Miller, aka The Musers. Troy said that NFL people around the league agreed on the fact that the Cowboys have some of the best talent in the league. He insisted that they may well be the most talented team in the NFL, and certainly, along with Green Bay, the most talented in the NFC.

"At this point," Aikman said, "you have to call what this team has done a major underachievement."

Troy went on to talk about a conversation he had with Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. They were discussing Tommie Harris, whose play the past couple of years has not been up to the standard he had set for himself earlier in his career. Troy said he commented, after watching Harris on film, that he appeared to be playing hard.

"Yeah," Lovie said, "but we don't pay these guys to play hard. We pay them to make plays."

Troy then compared that statement to Cowboys coach Wade Phillips complimenting his team for "playing hard" after the ridiculous loss to the New York Giants.

"That," Troy said, "tells you everything you need to know."

And that tells me everything I need to know. Hall of Fame players know what I know: Wade Phillips is a ridiculous excuse for a head coach in the NFL.

What I do not get is how Jerry Jones does not get what everybody else in the football world gets. As Jones continues to stick by his hand puppet, expect this team to continue to find creative ways to lose football games...and expect more outbursts from frustrated former players and coaches.