FRISCO - I've issued some accusations at the 2020 Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, based on comments from informed people who, in essence, say the new Mike McCarthy-led staff isn't meshing with their players.
A "disconnect,'' I'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.
And now Cowboys players are starting to whisper the same things.
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."
Those quotes come via our plugged-in colleague Jane Slater of NFL Network, and they come after another Dallas loss, this one a 38-10 blowout at the hands of Arizona that drops the Cowboys to 2-4. It is all simply a frustration-driven continuation of what I've discussed 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.
But the concerns are, and have been, as real as the 2-4 record.
READ MORE: Cowboys Are A Division-Leading Disaster
McCarthy believes he recognizes the problems with his all-time-worst defense. Or, at least, he recognizes what the problems aren't.
McCarthy recently said he has "very high confidence in (defensive coordinator) Mike Nolan. We're going to stay the course. We're on top of where we are." Owner Jerry Jones on Tuesday gave both coaches a sort of "vote of confidence.''
So, if it's not "coaching'' ...?
"I think you've got to be real careful when you start challenging professional athletes about effort, especially from a distance,'' McCarthy said when asked if Cowboys defensive players are simply not putting in the work (as alleged by safety Xavier Woods when he said not everybody goes "full-speed'' all of the time.) "We don't have an effort issue.''
So, if it's not "coaching'' and it's not "players' effort'' ...?
“I refuse to be a one-call defense,'' McCarthy said, defending the complexity of his defensive scheme that's been broached by linebacker Jaylon Smith. "That’s not the path.''
So, in addition to Slater's unnamed sources, Lawrence, Woods and Smith - three defensive leaders - have on-the-record broached issues of ...
Scheme. Effort. Coaching.
I cannot say "the Cowboys coaches are not good at their jobs.'' I can only say what I've said forever in covering the NFL: "Good coaching'' is about "improvement toward wins.''
The 2020 Dallas Cowboys are not improving. The 2020 Dallas Cowboys are not winning. And now - "The Big Lie'' aside - more and more members of the roster are telling us their truths about why.