Troy Aikman knows a lot about playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. He also unfortunately knows what it's like to be hit the way Andy Dalton was last weekend.
Dalton sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Washington Football Team when he was leveled by WFT linebacker Jon Bostic. The dirty hit did not result in a suspension for Bostic, who was ejected from the game.
There has been a lot of talk about whether the Dallas offensive linemen should gotten into it physically with Bostic in retaliation for the play.
Aikman said some of the Cowboys' linemen in the past, as well as this year's projected starters who are out with injuries, would have done just that.
"I played with guys who would have definitely reacted, have reacted in situations like that, but those were my guys," Aikman said on the radio
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 27, 2020
" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this morning, via The Athletic's Jon Machota. "They were there with me through thick and through thin and through the lean years and the great years. There was a lot of continuity. I think if this offensive line was the group that we are accustomed to seeing over the years, with Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, that reaction would have been a lot different. It definitely would have been different as well if it had been Dak Prescott."
Some analysts have speculated that the relatively passive response from the Dallas offensive linemen indicates a lack of toughness or respect for Dalton. Aikman, however, thinks it signifies something else: inexperience.
"I don't question these offensive lineman and whether they want to protect their quarterback or do they have his back and all that," Aikman said. " I think you got to put it into context just who these guys were, and they're fighting for their own lives. I think they were more concerned for his well-being as opposed to retaliating."
Dalton remains in concussion protocol as of today. If he can't take the field this weekend, rookie Ben DiNucci will make his first career start.
The Cowboys are set to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:20 p.m. ET Sunday night.