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Undisputed Showdown: Skip Bayless Challenges Christian McCaffrey’s Impact on 49ers

Oct 3, 2023 at 4:15 PM--

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Dallas Cowboys superfan Skip Bayless kicks off the Week 5 matchup between the "Boys" and San Francisco 49ers by saying he is not afraid of running back Christian McCaffrey on "Undisputed."

"Undisputed" is a morning sports debate show on Fox Sports 1 hosted by Bayless, Super Bowl champion Keyshawn Johnson, Cowboys great and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, and former 49ers and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

On a recent segment about 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, an MVP candidate, Bayless, Johnson, and Sherman debated the possibility of a non-quarterback winning the award. The last to do so was running back Adrian Peterson in 2012.

The discussion went from McCaffrey's chances of winning the award and how the 49ers quarterback position was a plug-in-play position until Brock Purdy took over.

"They got a lot of pieces, man, and that main piece is that running back," Johnson said. "Why do you think they went out and got him? Richard Sherman played for them. He can tell you what [head coach] Kyle Shanahan can do with a quarterback. He played for them."

Bayless brought up the January playoff game when McCaffrey rushed the ball 10 times for 35 yards and one touchdown.

"I don't know, so they are nothing without Christian McCaffrey," Bayless said. "I don't know how they win that game while he was very quiet."

Johnson backed up his point by saying the 49ers adding McCaffrey made their team better.

"What we are saying is that it adds something when you go have a guy like that. That's why they went and got him," the former Buccaneer said. "He's different. He's different. You don't want to admit it because you got to play him Sunday night."

After the Dallas defense held former Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to 16 yards on six carries in a 38-3 victory over the Patriots, Bayless said he is not scared of the MVP candidate.

"You should fear him," Sherman said. "There are a lot of things people don't fear that they probably should, and that's why they're in danger all the time. Dan Quinn (Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator who coached Sherman in Seattle from 2013-2015) is staying up at night making plans designed around Christian McCaffrey and how they can stop him."

Sherman, who played for the 49ers from 2018-2020, told Bayless, that despite Purdy being efficient and safe with the ball, the NFL knows who makes the 49ers offense go.

"The MVP on that team, and you could ask anybody on that team or anybody who plays them, will say Christian McCaffrey," Sherman said. "If you get him the ball, he's gonna make a difference."

Sherman warned Bayless if the 49ers win and Christian has an impressive game during the Sunday night matchup, he will be at the desk instead of an isolated studio.

"Skip, the amount of nonsense I'm going to talk that day," Sherman said. "Kyle Shanahan is not the same as the Patriots offensive coordinator is (Bill O'Brien). I don't want to look it up because their offense is abysmal. They were awful that day. Kyle Shanahan is not awful."

Johnson asked Bayless who was going to cover McCaffrey if he is lined up outside of the backfield while Sherman can be heard in the background saying, "Please say, Leighton Vander Esch," who is a solid tackler but would have trouble in pass coverage against Run CMC.

"Leighton Vander Esh," Bayless replied.

Johnson explained how taking the Cowboys linebacker from the middle of the field to cover McCaffrey could be a matchup problem, especially if the 49ers put wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the backfield.

"You got both of them on the field," Johnson said. "One is detached from the line of scrimmage, and the other is in the backfield. So you are gonna walk your middle linebacker out. I was hoping you said Micah Parsons because then all I'm gonna do is check to something different, and they are gonna go right where Micah left."

Bayless retorted Johnson's comments by explaining Cowboys nickel cornerback Jourdan Lewis could be the answer if the 49ers decide to line McCaffrey out wide.

"So now you go nickel defense," Johnson said. "Now I'm gonna run the football with Deebo Samuel or somebody else because I got you in a personnel that you don't want to be in, which is nickel."

A nickel defense is a formation that uses five defensive backs for pass coverage but is not used to stop the run.

"Like you said, Brock Purdy out of Iowa State, and you watched him for years, but you don't recognize him with this Kyle Shanahan offense," Sherman said. "You watched Christian McCaffrey for years in Carolina, but in this Kyle Shanahan offense, he's a different beast, and he was a beast in Carolina. You watched Deebo Samuels in South Carolina, and you didn't see the All-Pro Deebo Samuel that you see now. Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State, you saw him like he is now. George Kittle out of Iowa. They are starting to draft tight ends like George because of what he has done, but when he was coming out, he was a fifth-round pick. Again, yes, Kyle Shanahan makes it look different, Skip."

With his love for the Cowboys, Bayless may have more debates about Sunday night's matchup with the old rivals.

  • Written by:
    Sports has been my first love since I was 12 years old. At one point I wanted to play football professionally. I started to take photography as a hobby in my teenage years but this was when I followed sports. I started to listen to sports radio, I found my true calling and it was to be a sports talk show host. Though I follow football and basketball, I started to have a new love of cultures around the world. After graduating from San Antonio College in 2018, I worked for the Castroville News Bulletin before going to A&M San Antonio to get my communications degree. Since I have written for the Ranger of San Antonio College, the News Bulletin and the Mesquite of Texas A&M San Antonio, I met many people and went to a lot of events. My major milestone was being in the press box of the San Antonio Commanders game for the Mesquite and being apart of a press conference with the Medina County Sheriff and other local news outlets. When I am not doing anything, I like to watch old cartoons on the DC Universe, play video games such as Mega Man and the Mass Effect series. I have also created Youtube channel called "Anger Management" with my friend Aaron Donnell.

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