Last season, Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy took issue with the response from his players after no one came to defend then-starting quarterback Andy Dalton after a big hit from Washington Football Team linebacker Jon Bostic.
Fast-forward to Sunday, when tackle right tackle La'el Collins was ejected in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 27-20 victory over Washington for throwing a punch to defend Dak Prescott.
"LC did exactly what you're supposed to do there," McCarthy said, via the official transcript. "We all understand the challenges of officiating, whatever you thought of the play all the way around. This is a game and obviously very competitive, the fact that it's your quarterback or whoever, so you know these games will be chippy, they're division games. Once it got going, I thought both sides did a good job of locking everything up and moving on. It happens in these types of games."
McCarthy went on to say he didn't realize Collins had thrown a punch and wasn't advocating that specific action, but he supported Collins sticking up for his teammate.
Washington defensive end William Bradley-King hit Prescott as the QB threw the ball away near the Cowboys' sideline. Collins immediately attacked Bradley-King, eventually throwing a punch. Ezekiel Elliott was also involved in the kerfuffle but wasn't penalized for shoving the defender.
"It wasn't really the late hit for me," Collins said. "I felt it was more so, I felt like he was rolling toward Dak's leg. It was uncalled for. I'm just here to protect my quarterback at all costs, and that's the bottom line."
Prescott appreciated Collins coming to his defense.
"I obviously respect and love the fact that my teammates are standing up for me and that's how all of us feel about one another," Prescott said. "That's not them protecting me. That's how any of us would react if any of our brothers are in that position. Yeah, thankful for those guys."
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Collins will not be suspended for the incident, though it will be reviewed and the Cowboys offensive lineman is likely to be fined.
Dallas and Washington face off in a rematch in two weeks.