The Dallas Cowboys were blown out by the Arizona Cardinals in prime time on Monday, and the loss seemingly sparked a revolt.
Anonymous Cowboys players called out the coaching staff for its lack of preparation and in-game adjustments. Head coach Mike McCarthy responded to the news Tuesday, saying he wishes his players would bring their issues to him rather than the media.
"I haven't been part of any of those type of discussions," McCarthy said, according to NFL.com's Grant Gordon. "I think like a lot of things, when you hit a part of your season or any challenge where there is negativity out there, where it comes from and who it comes from, that's something I've never chased. I think you do have to recognize it and I just really go back to my first meeting with the football team.
"I've always stated this to every team that I've coached. I think it's important to handle things as men; if you do have something to say publicly that is of most importance, I think it's important to say it to the individual. Particularly in a group dynamic, setting. Especially in the game of football, especially for the Dallas Cowboys. That's all part of the development of our program, of the system we're installing here."
Dallas sits at 2-4 but still leads the NFC East, which has been by far the NFL's weakest division in 2020.
The 38-10 loss to the Cardinals was the Cowboys' first game since Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
Andy Dalton, who received a vote of confidence from owner Jerry Jones, threw two interceptions and averaged just 4.93 yards per attempt. He had one touchdown pass, though it came in the final minutes with the game already out of reach.
Star running back Ezekiel Elliott, meanwhile, had two early fumbles that both led to touchdowns for the Cardinals.
Though the offense's issues were in the spotlight Monday, Dallas' defense continues to be the league's worst. Its 216 total points allowed is the most by any team through six games since the AFL-NFL merger.
Despite the struggles, the head coach insists his players still believe in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
"Definitely. It's a change," McCarthy said. "This is something that we want to do defensively-wise. Frankly, we're in the infant stages of it.
"That's part of these first-year challenges."