Legendary Cowboys WR Michael Irvin Calls out Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and CeeDee Lamb for ‘Playing Like Role Players’

The fallout from the Dallas Cowboys‘ Wild Card Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers is only getting worse. Wherever you look, you can find a former Cowboys player or a current NFL analyst criticizing the team in some shape or manner for its lackluster performance.

Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott have been the two most hotly critiqued players, while Jerry Jones and Ezekiel Elliott have also come under fire.

Former Cowboys WR Michael Irvin ripped into a trio of players

While most individuals are attempting to pin the blame on one specific person for Dallas’ postseason disaster, former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin is taking a different approach. He’s blaming a trio of players for not delivering when the pressure was highest.

“Every team you look at, the stars of the team showed up and played,” Irvin said via the Stacking the Box podcast. “You can’t win in this game if your stars don’t show up and play. It’s Dak Prescott, 69 passer rating. Ezekiel Elliott, 31 rushing yards. CeeDee Lamb, 21 yards on one reception.”

“They had the star players playing like role players. That’s why they’ve got their butts sitting at home.”

Michael Irvin has a point

Former Cowboys WR Michael Irvin.
Michael Irvin | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

It’s worth pointing out that CeeDee Lamb was only targeted five times during the 49ers game. If anything, the Cowboys should be ashamed at their inability to get their 2020 first-round pick the football. Lamb is likely just as frustrated with his playoff performance as Irvin.

On the other hand, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott aren’t able to use the same excuse. Elliott touched the ball 13 times against the 49ers, and Prescott attempted 43 passes. Both were given ample opportunity to prove their status as legitimate franchise-caliber superstars. They simply failed to answer the call.

All around the NFL, star power on offense drove teams to success during the Wild Card Round. Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Patrick Mahomes all had huge days in the AFC. Tom Brady, Deebo Samuel, and Odell Beckham Jr. lived up to the hype in the NFC. The Cowboys, on the other hand, had no such performances.

Despite being paid like two of the best players in all of football, Prescott and Elliott failed to perform when the lights shined brightest. Elliott has been regressing for several seasons now, so his struggles aren’t surprising. However, Prescott was just handed a massive $160 million extension. He’s supposed to be entering his prime years.

What next for the Cowboys?

As per usual, the Cowboys are in an awkward position entering the 2022 offseason. They’re quickly running out of cap space, and owner Jerry Jones has already stated he doesn’t plan on firing head coach Mike McCarthy.

This means the Cowboys are likely to run things back next year in hopes of a better conclusion. Will this plan result in better postseason success? No, it likely won’t. Barring a massive bounce-back season from Elliott and Prescott, the Cowboys will more than likely finish 2022 with another early exit from the playoff bracket.

Michael Irvin’s comments may be even more damning if that occurs.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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