FRISCO - A flurry of negative thoughts and comments on the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff caused new boss Mike McCarthy to respond Tuesday night in an even-handed manner.
"I think you do have to recognize it,'' said McCarthy after hearing criticism in the media from his own "unnamed-sources'' players following Dallas' embarrassing 2-4 start. "I really go back to my first meeting with the football team. .. .I've always stated, I think it's important to handle things as men.
"If you do have something to say, say it to the individual directly.''
McCarthy acknowledged the Cowboys have "hit a part of a season where there’s negativity out there.'' That negativity on Tuesday manifested itself in a report via our plugged-in colleague Jane Slater of NFL Network after another Dallas loss, this one a 38-10 blowout at the hands of Arizona.
One player is calling the coaching staff "totally unprepared.'' Another quote: "They don't teach" or "have any sense of adjusting on the fly." And another player: The Cowboys coaches "just aren't good at their jobs."
It is all part of a frustration-driven continuation of what we've detailed at length regarding the great number of times when players - on the record - have made a statement about "effort,'' "softness'' and "confusion'' - only to have McCarthy issue blanket denials of concerns
A "disconnect,'' we've called it. And when McCarthy insists that he oversees perfect practices that somehow lead to imperfect game days, "The Big Lie'' is what I've called it.
It is frankly encouraging that McCarthy is, in his Tuesday evening DFW media session at least, willing to demonstrate an openness on the topic. Previously, he's habitually argued away such concerns in media conversations.
Whether the Cowboys coaches are "good at their jobs'' is obviously a matter of opinion - and it's an opinion that would be far less held if Dallas wasn't 2-4. But these things involve conversations McCarthy insists he's willing to have - inside The Star.
"Talk to me,'' he said, trying to illustrate his message to disgruntled players. "I'm your guy ... I'll talk to anybody.''