Mike McCarthy on unnamed players’ criticism: It’s important to handle things as men

USA TODAY Sports

With a new head coach, the Cowboys entered this season with high expectations. Nothing has gone as planned.

The Cowboys are without their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, and several other key players, including both starting tackles. Their defense is giving up points at a historic pace, and their minus-12 turnover ratio is the worst in the NFL.

The Cowboys are doing what losing teams do: Players are anonymously venting about the coaching staff. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy responded Tuesday night.

“Well, I mean, first off, I haven’t heard any of those type of discussions,” McCarthy said on a conference call with reporters. “I think like a lot of things when you hit a part of your season, or any challenge where there is negativity out there and where it comes from and who it comes from, that’s something that I’ve never chased. I think you do have to recognize it. I just really go back to my first meeting with the football team. I’ve always stated that . . . it’s important to handle things as men. I mean, if you do have something to say publicly that is of most important, I think it’s important to say it to the individual, or particularly in a group dynamic setting, especially in the game of football, especially for the Dallas Cowboys. I mean, that’s all part of the development our program, of the system that we’ve got going here. I think that’s just part of our flight right now. We don’t like the way we played last night. We had some areas that we struggled strong in. It’s definitely not what we’re looking for.”

Jane Slater of NFL Media tweeted earlier in the day: “Cowboys players initially bought into keeping things internal. Now as they sit 2-4 the discontent is leaking out. On the coaching staff ‘totally unprepared. They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly.’ Another ‘they just aren’t good at their jobs.’”

Slater asked McCarthy if the quotes from unnamed players were an opportunity to reiterate his open-door policy to his team.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” McCarthy said, “but I think the key word there is anonymous. I think I’ve already stated: I think it’s important for our operation of the system that we’re putting in place here. All systems are different. We’ve looked at how things were done here in the past. It’s a clear vision and understanding and demands of how things need to be moving forward. But it’s important for us to have those conversations one-on-one or as a group, and I’m fortunate that I get to talk to the team every day.”

70 responses to “Mike McCarthy on unnamed players’ criticism: It’s important to handle things as men

  1. The wheels are already falling off. Seemed the same for the players in Green Bay. He lost their respect. Lost the lockeroom. Lost the job.

  2. Let’s go over the Les Schwab Tire Company and see if we can get another re-tread for a coach! Hey Wade, are you available?

  3. As per usual, this is no doubt an agent talking to the media based on what he’s heard and wants to get out. Think about who – player or coach, on the team or not – will benefit from this story.

  4. dudes arent gonna sign their name cuz theyre afraid of getting cut… being considered a cancer…. or having playing time cut

  5. It’s just funny because a few months back I read an article where Mike McCarthy talked a big game about how he spent his year off in a converted barn studying film and trying to increase his knowledge as a coach in order to come back much better and this is what he has to show for it thus far?

  6. This team needs to cut and gut but the problem is the contracts haven’t even had the ink dry and the biggest one isn’t even done. Spending cap space and draft capital in the same place leads for a one sided team. You can pass the ball but nothing else.

  7. ariani1985 says:
    I didn’t know Rogers joined the cowboys?
    ==

    You wish Aaron Rodgers had joined the Cowboys. Perhaps then your Vikings could beat the Packers every once in a while.

  8. Gee,and anti Packers fans called Aaron Rodgers a crybaby because he didnt approve of McCarthys coaching and play calling in Green Bay.all these players cant all be wrong about this coach.

  9. “it’s important to handle things like men”…yet when you were in green bay instead of doing that you often ran and hid upstairs getting massages when the team was looking for you. oh, okay…

  10. Jerry Jones will never get the Cowboys back to a Championship
    because he is too emotionally invested into the players.
    A football man would see DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t living up to his contract.
    Or that Tyron Smith although just turning 30 and still good is worn out from chronic back and neck issues. Or that Zeke although a great back isn’t worth the huge investment.
    Finally he should admit Amari Cooper is a luxury now with Cee Dee and Gallup on the roster.
    No doubt he has seen many times teams cut their Marque players yet come back
    better and stronger than ever.
    Time for Jerry to move on from some or all of these players.

  11. The Captain of the ship often ignores the grumblings of his crew until he’s walking the plank. Basically saying his players are not behaving like men is not something that is going to inspire them to play harder for him. Dallas needs some drama. Jerry Jones letting Jason Garret hide under his skirt for years when fans were screaming for his head makes me think Jones needs to grow a pair. The only reason this man still has a job right now is because the NFC East sucks so bad record wise. His team is NOT organized on the field. The only thing the Cowboys can hope for is to catch Lightning in a bottle at the end of the year if they can back into the playoffs and can make a run. I wouldn’t bet on it. I don’t hear the other teams behind them in the standings complaining about their coaches so where there is smoke there is fire.

  12. Funniest thing is everyone treats Cowboys as if they are somehow relevant to Super Bowl discussion lol

  13. Things are always darkest before dawn….with that said its good to see my Giants, who are young, not really talented, and a pretty lousy football team in general, buying into their head coach and his method (even though Gettleman is almost surely gone after this year). I think that older guys like McCarthy, who pretty much underachieved with the talent that they had in the past, are going to be on very short leashes when they get their second chances.

    I still have to give him AT LEAST one more year though. It wouldnt be fair for him to get fired after one season…he doesnt deserve that.

  14. Hey the Cowboys haven’t been to the NFC Title game since 1996 and Mark Sanchez has more playoff wins than Dak and Tony Romo COMBINED.

    The problem with the Cowboys ain’t McCarthy.

  15. Kurt Laughlin says:

    October 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    As per usual, this is no doubt an agent talking to the media based on what he’s heard and wants to get out. Think about who – player or coach, on the team or not – will benefit from this story.
    ———–
    Doubtful it’s an agent since it’s the teams local reporter so it’s almost assuredly player(s). As for who would benefit that’s easy, every defensive player to start with. When your team is on pace to give up a record amount of points no one can look good.

  16. “The Cowboys are my new favorite soap opera” so says my wife, who likes football. Good job, JJ.

  17. McCarthy’s response was fair. They couldn’t say how they felt to his face. In his own way he called them cowards.

  18. jerrystrashcan says:
    October 20, 2020 at 8:55 pm
    Jerry Jones will never get the Cowboys back to a Championship
    because he is too emotionally invested into the players.
    A football man would see DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t living up to his contract.
    Or that Tyron Smith although just turning 30 and still good is worn out from chronic back and neck issues. Or that Zeke although a great back isn’t worth the huge investment.
    Finally he should admit Amari Cooper is a luxury now with Cee Dee and Gallup on the roster.
    No doubt he has seen many times teams cut their Marque players yet come back
    better and stronger than ever.
    Time for Jerry to move on from some or all of these players.

    ———————–
    Spot on with many things.

    Lawrence has had, what, 5-6 sacks since signing the big money contract. Smith is done and Zeke is no longer the back he was.
    For WR thing, I would say the opposite. If they have Gallup and Cooper isn’t taking Lamb just a luxury, particularly if the D was trash?
    Reminds me of Jones wanting Manziel.

    McCarthy took a HoF QB and won exactly 1 championship and was largely panned as out of tune with modern offense. But Jones had to go with the big name. Of course not many people wanted to go to Dallas.

  19. “I have a feeling McCarthy will be fired after one year.”

    Oh wow! You have him surviving the whole 2020 season? Well he could become the first division winner to be fired immediately after the playoff blowout.

  20. I miss the good old days when you did what your coach told you to without question. No one knew who you voted for.

  21. I wonder how many coaches survived this most ominous omen. They all handle it the same way and to the best of my memory usually end up gone shortly thereafter.

    So why not challenge the players “its no wonder we can’t win, when our guys don’t have the balls to address me like a man. They have to hid behind a reporter.” That kind of thing mightiest the competitive fires a bit more.

  22. Trash before McCarthy, trash during McCarthy, trash after McCarthy. The Joneses overpaid the wrong players and now they’re reaping that.

  23. McCarthy is right. If the players are going to air their complaints via internet they really are cowardly. If they can’t take it directly to the boss they aren’t a man.

  24. jerrystrashcan says:
    October 20, 2020 at 8:55 pm
    Jerry Jones will never get the Cowboys back to a Championship
    because he is too emotionally invested into the players.
    A football man would see DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t living up to his contract.
    Or that Tyron Smith although just turning 30 and still good is worn out from chronic back and neck issues. Or that Zeke although a great back isn’t worth the huge investment.
    Finally he should admit Amari Cooper is a luxury now with Cee Dee and Gallup on the roster.
    No doubt he has seen many times teams cut their Marque players yet come back
    better and stronger than ever.
    Time for Jerry to move on from some or all of these players.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    This. The problem with the Cowboys is the players. Jimmy Johnson or Parcells would have cut or traded most of them. McCarthy can’t do a major overhaul b/c he doesn’t have the authority that Jimmy or the Tuna had

  25. Hiring McCarthy was a mistake. Fortunately Jones is incapable of admitting mistakes until the harm is irreparable.

  26. Would not be surprised if McCarthy and Gase both never get head coaching jobs again after their inevitable firings. Players follow good coaches and nobody is following these guys.

  27. The Cowboys took a hit, and its affected the entire team, you could see it in the way they played. (Obviously within the team Dak had a significant influence on confidence/spirit) so Ill say that was not McCarthy’s fault so far. But it is his job to be the guy that halts this and gets them picked back up. And without whatever inspiration Dak was adding. But that is the coaches job and its not expected to be easy all the time. So here is his moment to prove he is a great coach (not just a lucky one as many will argue). If he can get this team to pick back up from all thats happened and play competently and hard down the stretch then I would give him the nod that he does indeed have the chops. But if they dont, thats on him. So hes not a failure here yet, but not a success either. Its time to take the test and we will see.

  28. Jerry Jones will never get the Cowboys back to a Championship
    because he is too emotionally invested into the players.
    A football man would see DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t living up to his contract.
    Or that Tyron Smith although just turning 30 and still good is worn out from chronic back and neck issues. Or that Zeke although a great back isn’t worth the huge investment.
    Finally he should admit Amari Cooper is a luxury now with Cee Dee and Gallup on the roster.
    No doubt he has seen many times teams cut their Marque players yet come back
    better and stronger than ever.
    Time for Jerry to move on from some or all of these player
    ____________________________________________________
    Or…are these all really good players and the coaching is that bad. Tyron’s injuries are an issue though.

  29. Dang, they have more confusion going on than Washington. At least Rivera is keeping the troops on one accord. I guess this is what happens when you are over rated.

    I actually think Washington might be the better team at this point.

  30. 24 years and counting…. no more than a few Wild Card wins. What’s the surprise? Because ESPN tells you every single year that you should expect otherwise… you do??? 🐑

  31. I can’t believe I used to be as big of a McCarthy apologist as I’ve been. It was clear that the team wasn’t the same since the 2014 NFC Championship collapse against the Seahawks and the team never quite got over it. Took another 4 season to finally make a change and confirm what was really going on – McCarthy lost the locker room and respect of players, and if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers playing lights out during critical stretches, Mike would’ve lost his job a lot sooner.

    If we do want to point fingers tho, it HAS to be Mike Nolan. They’re giving up HISTORICAL amounts of points. Can you say that the players on the defensive side of the ball are HISTORICALLY untalented? If not, then you have to look at the coaching. Nolan has been a bum everywhere he’s been. First axe that comes down needs to be on Nolan.

  32. As long as Jerry gives unlimited rope and support for the players, the head coach is neutered. Mc isn’t doing a great job but then any coach would be handcuffed by the Cowboys culture.

  33. Cowboy fans are now experiencing the agony that Packer fans lived through for years. McCarthy should have been gone from GB long ago, and that is on the administration. All the things your seeing, not adjusting the game plan at half time, time outs at weird times, poor play calling, is what the press slammed fans for in GB. This guy loves his food, loves his power, and especially loves to be the big shot. Rogers and all GB fans are so glad he is gone,

  34. McCarthy spent a year studying game tape, formations and analytics while on his 20 acre farm with a small group of coaches in a renovated barn with a full basketball court. The Cowboys are reaping all the benefits from it.

  35. NFL (Niners Football League) says:
    October 20, 2020 at 8:24 pm
    It’s just funny because a few months back I read an article where Mike McCarthy talked a big game about how he spent his year off in a converted barn studying film and trying to increase his knowledge as a coach in order to come back much better and this is what he has to show for it thus far?

    205

    5

    Rate This
    ———————————————————————————–
    People don’t change, McCarthy is the same guy that Green Bay players complained was unprepared and used to hide in his office. But the Cowboys don’t have Aaron Rodgers to will the team to the playoffs every year. They have a bunch of overhyped “name” players who have gone .500 over the last decade.

  36. I think a better response by McCarthy would have been…. “Those players are right. That tells me my guys want to be coached up. They want the coaches to teach. Me and the rest of the coaches need to do that better.” And then leave it at that. No need to comment further.

  37. It’s so tough with Mac…he should have gotten to two more Super Bowls. The 2007 game, Brent threw to the one covered guy out of 5 on the field and they lost. And then Seattle. Dude was a catch of an Onsides away from the SB. Trust me, I think some opportunities were squandered, but the fact is not a lot of coaches get to 4 Title Games, and he’d have won a few more if the players didn’t fold like tents in some big spots.

    As far as what’s going on now? What coach would have them 6-0 or 5-1? They don’t have the talent plus injuries. Again, doesn’t absolve him but you can’t deny those factors.

  38. In Wisconsin, the question used to be “How many championships would Aaron Rodgers have won if he had Bill Belichick as his coach instead of McCarthy?”

    Go figure. After this Dallas debacle, maybe the question should be “How many championships would Aaron Rodgers have won if he had Jason Garrett as his head coach instead of McCarthy?”

  39. Not that I care for Dallas team, but feeling empathy for the Jones family I am going to help them out here. Trade Daulton and a number four draft choice to Miami for Fitzpatrick and a number six pick. If they need to sweeten, make it a number three instead of a number four. Yes, just a band aid. But hope and providing a bit of sunshine to the three stud receivers will flip things short term and win this silly division. Additionally, it is a bit naive to think that Fitzpatrick may not be a necessary bridge as relate to the 2021 season when Dak will unlikely be Dak.

  40. As a pack fan and one who was glad to see him go, IMO he was lazy as a coach. They did a lot of walk throughs rather then contact. He had a system of having receivers just go to an area and turn, they didn not ‘practice” routes and route running.
    I remember reading a bit by a def player saying he loved playing them because he knew where the recvrs were going before they did making it easy to defend.
    No in the long run this will fester until Jerry steps in and admits, he made a mistake. This team is not prepared to play.

  41. McCarthys saving grace is Washington, NY and the Eagles. If any of them were doing well and had winning records then one could assume a big lose this week by big D and Mac is gone. Adios. No way he would last to the end of the season. Not when the team doesnt like him.

  42. Thank God we are playing in the NFC least. This is turning into a perfect storm. In fighting and back biting won’t erase the devastating injuries but everyone from the GM down to the water boys need to strap on a pair and show up on game day. Bloody wars and sickly seasons present opportunities for others to step up and shine. Stop playing scared, bring in some two tight end sets for max protect and let the RedRifle connect with the best three receivers in football. I was waiting for the guy that saved the Giants game to show up against the Cards. Missing in action.

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