CBS analyst Bill Cowher, speaking on TNF Gameday on NFL Network, took serious issue with Ryan's decision.
"The captain tag is something that every head coach in this league takes seriously," Cowher said. "The captain tag is something that players vote on, head coaches they give their title to. It requires a player that you think exemplifies leadership. You earn that. Rex Ryan has made a mockery of it and to me it's annoying.
"I'm just saying that to put that out there. It's not always about Rex. Everything isn't about Rex. You used the platform to talk about Clemson. What does that got to do with this game? The game is being played by players on the field. It's not about him. It's about the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets playing for a game that's got playoff implications. Again players like him, media loves him -- that element of that bothers me. "
It's hard to disagree with Cowher. Enemkpali assaulted Smith, forcing him to undergo surgery and lose his job. Rex signaled his approval this week.