Keyshawn counterpunches by saying Irvin "doesn't want anybody else coming in and shining for the team or doing well because he has to continue to stay in the limelight.''
And, "Michael Irvin probably couldn't tell you half of the Dallas Cowboys names just because he doesn't know. He doesn't study. He doesn't see it."
And "He had a Hall of Fame quarterback, a Hall of Fame running back, several Hall of Fame linemen, a Hall of Fame defensive back and a Hall of Fame safety.. You were in the right place at the right time. Enjoy it. That's all I'm going to say. Just enjoy it.''
Let's wade through some of this, and then apply it to Sunday's 19-13's loss at Oakland:
Irvin does indeed enjoy the limelight. At the same time, he remains a huge fan of the Cowboys. Irvin absolutely studies this team. Keyshawn is wrong about that. The "Hall of Fame'' stuff? Keyshawn is stretching it by saying Irvin was joined by seven future Hall of Famers on those '90's teams, but his point is made.
Now, about those "No. 2 wide receivers'':
Keyshawn, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton and tight end Jason Witten have all made plays when asked. So whether they're "No. 2 guys'' or not, ain't the problem. Against the Raiders, Dallas' wide receivers went three quarters and totaled only one catch.
That's the problem. And it's not all on the receivers themselves.
Lose 19-13 -- making this year's 2-2 Cowboys 4-for-4 in terms of participating in tight games -- and there is plenty of blame to go around.
Should Drew Bledsoe have seen Witten open on the left, matched in single coverage with a safety, when he instead threw right to Glenn in the red zone on the Dallas offense's final play? "That (coverage is) what you want," said Witten, far more frustrated than his words indicate. "(The quarterback) decides which way to go. I'm not doubting him.''
Should Bledsoe have done something more than 11 of 26 for 212 yards and a season-low passer rating of 68.1? Sure, but isn't there something about the play calling here that smells like a team intending to win games 13-12?
Seriously, in both this game and the Washington game (a 14-13 loss) it seemed like it was Dallas' gameplan to win a low-scoring game. And if you plan on scoring low, guess what's going to happen?
So who should step up? And who should shut up?
Not Irvin. It's his job to analyze what he sees.
Not Keyshawn. He figured to be inspired by Irvin's challenge, and it's his job to boost the 2005 Cowboys in any manner he can.
So keep up the jabbering, 'Boys.
But one more thing - Key, who entered the Oakland game with 685 receptions, 8,892 yards and 57 touchdowns in his career -- not bad compared to Irvin's 750 catches for 11,904 yards and 87 TDs -- offers up another quote:
"I just know what type of player I am,'' Johnson said. "I know that when my career is over, wherever he's ranked, he'll be under me. That's what I know."
Keyshawn is going to be better than Irvin? Jabber as much as you like, Keyshawn, as long as you back up those words.
But to do so, of course, once you face a step-up-or-shut-up game like Sunday's, you'll have to contribute more against the Raiders than. ...um, one catch.
Keyshawn Johnson vs. Michael Irvin?
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