Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy called out his players for not sticking up for Andy Dalton after the quarterback was knocked out of Sunday’s game against Washington following a big hit.
Dalton was diagnosed with a concussion after being tackled by linebacker Jon Bostic, who was ejected for targeting in the third quarter of Washington’s 25-3 win.
“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another,” McCarthy told reporters. “It definitely was not the response you would expect.”
Star running back Ezekiel Elliot said that it was “fair” for the Cowboys to face criticism for their lack of response.
“But with doing that, you’ve got to be careful, because we’re already down a bunch of guys that if you go in there and throw a punch and you get kicked out the game, you can’t help the team from the … locker room,” Elliot said. “We’ve got to find a way to not cross that line, but we’ve still got to protect our guys.”
McCarthy’s relationship with his players seemed to take a hit this week when anonymous players told an NFL Network reporter that members of the coaching staff “just aren’t good at their jobs.”
The Cowboys are 2-5, tied for second behind the 2-4-1 Eagles in the woebegone NFC East.
Dalton started his first game after star quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a right ankle fracture that ended his season during last week’s win over the Giants.
Dalton was replaced Sunday by Ben DiNucci, the third-string quarterback out of James Madison who was selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, No. 231 overall.
DiNucci was 2 of 3 for 39 yards.
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