Aaron Rodgers will not be jumping on the Mike McCarthy hate train.
Another rough loss for the Dallas Cowboys has seen reports emerge from within the locker room of friction between some of the players and McCarthy and his coaching staff. According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, anonymous current Cowboys players have said things like the staff is “totally unprepared” or “just aren’t good at their jobs.”
While Rodgers isn’t part of that locker room and can’t shed light on the exact situation, he did spend a decade as McCarthy’s starting quarterback in Green Bay and possesses some insight on how the Cowboys’ new head coach will handle the alleged internal drama.
“Mike knows how to deal with any type of adversity,” Rodgers said during his weekly Tuesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “We went through ups and downs at times, mostly ups in Green Bay, but I know Mike knows how to steer those difficult situations. But it doesn’t matter who you are, whether it’s somebody talking about a coach or a player, you never want those unnamed sources to come out, that anonymous stuff. I think that’s some chicken s***.”
Rodgers Also Defends Cowboys’ Current Position
Rodgers hasn’t experienced much consistent losing during his time with the Packers, but he also knows that context matters when looking at a team’s overall record. In the case of the Cowboys, the Packers quarterback recognizes one thing about their 2-4 start: They are still leading the NFC East after six weeks.
“As far as I know, what the facts are today, they’re first place in the division,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “First place in any division, regardless of their record, assures you a home playoff game. We won a division in 2013 at 8-7-1, had to win our last home to get a home playoff game. That division has obviously been a little down this year … but they still have a lot of games against each other. It’s a long season.”
Rodgers also noted how Sunday’s embarrassing loss for the Cowboys — the same 28-point margin that his own Packers lost by in Week 6 — was their first game without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who Rodgers said was “off to one of the greatest starts in history.”
Prescott had completed 151 passes for 1,856 yards and nine touchdowns during the first five games of the season, the last of which he didn’t even finish. He had also run for another three touchdowns as one of the better mobile quarterbacks in the league, making him a difficult player to replace at all — let alone with a 32-year-old statue like Andy Dalton.
Dalton went 9-for-11 passing in his relief of Prescott in Week 5 and helped the Cowboys close out with a 37-34 win over the New York Giants, but a two-pick stinker of performance against the Arizona Cardinals showed how much more difficult the task has become for McCarthy.
McCarthy & Rodgers Both Faced Anonymous Criticism
Rodgers also knows a little bit about the frustration of anonymous sources from the narrative that came out in the months following McCarthy’s firing as Packers head coach.
Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne published an article in April 2019 that detailed all types of drama and conflicts between Rodgers and McCarthy inside the Packers’ locker room. None of the details shared — and there was a lot to unpack — painted either of them in a positive light and left Rodgers in a position of having to defend his character at times.
“This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career, talking with mostly irrelevant bitter players who all have an agenda,” Rodgers said during an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin’s Wilde & Tausch shortly after the article came out. “Whether they’re trying to advance their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up.”