FRISCO - Earlier this season, Dallas Cowboys Mike McCarthy chastised critics who wondered if his team had an “effort issue.”
On Thursday in a team meeting here at The Star, the first-year coach is chastised his players, accusing them of - you guessed it.
“We don’t have an effort issue,” McCarthy said back when his team was 1-3. “You've got to be really careful when you start challenging professional athletes about effort ...”
READ MORE: Player Admits To Cowboys 'Lack Of Effort'
But eight more games and six more losses, and McCarthy is doing just that.
“Our finish was not good enough, clearly,” McCarthy said Wednesday after a somnambulant 34-17 loss at Baltimore. “We didn’t finish very well, that’s for sure.”
Thus, the team meeting.
“It's unacceptable,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said. “I don't think the head coach should be having to come to talk to us about effort at the end of the game. … If there is a play where you could've gave more effort, you have to hold yourself accountable to that. And that goes for the player, it goes for all the players on the squad, including myself. And the same for coaches.”
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“Accountability” is the buzz word of the week inside Cowboys HQ, but as our Blitzcast Boys discuss regarding 3-9 Dallas, know that it’s only a word.
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Also in this episode, two great guests: talk-show host Mark Elfenbein and Stefan Noesen of the San Jose Sharks. They'll take us beyond the Cowboys ... and then we circle back ...
“Frustration” is only a word, too. Can Sunday’s visit to Cincinnati cure some of that? Or is this just more gum-flapping from the players and flip-flopping from the coach?
“You can’t not be frustrated,”Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “You have to be frustrated. I think if you aren't frustrated, then you don't give a f---.”
Bingo. Fans don’t have to accuse Dallas of a want-to problem. Media doesn’t have to, either. Make it official: The Dallas Cowboys have an “effort problem.”