It can be hard to keep Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless straight. Both are former writers turned outsized TV personalities in a take-centric cable sports landscape—Smith for ESPN, Bayless for Fox. Both were on First Take together once upon a time. Both interface with the Cowboys frequently—Bayless as a lifelong fan, Smith as a highly visible hater.
Fans can be forgiven, then, for assuming ESPN’s Jalen Rose was referring to Smith when he issued this tweet Monday evening:
Had the former Michigan and NBA swingman been referring to Smith, it might’ve made sense, given Smith’s reputation for needling Dallas on television and social media. He elaborated with another tweet that could be read as criticism of the Cowboys’ opinion-industrial complex.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rose cleared the air. Smith wasn’t his target—it was Bayless all along, called out by the Fab Five member with a reference to his well-known high school scoring average.
“(Smith) is my brother and this is not accurate. If anything it was for Mr 1.4ppg playing JV as a junior,” Rose wrote.
Dallas, for its part, was eliminated from Super Bowl contention with a 19-12 loss to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round Sunday night.