Paul Green has labelled North Queensland's 42-6 blow out to Newcastle as "unacceptable" and claimed some players need a "hard look" at themselves.
The Cowboys scored just one first-half try as they collapsed to their fifth straight loss, before conceding four tries in the last 22 minutes at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Already well out of finals contention, the Cowboys failed to make the most of good ball either side of halftime before lacking any real resilience late.
Just one of their players - centre Coen Hess - topped 100 running metres, while they have now had just one win since early June.
"That last 20 minutes in particular (against Newcastle) was unacceptable," Green said.
"You'd like to think there is a bit more pride in the jersey and respect for some guys who will finish up this year.
"I would like to see some respect for what they have done over the years. If we get that we will probably be in the contest most times. But today it wasn't the case."
Matt Scott is the biggest name Cowboy retiring at the end of the season, while veterans Scott Bolton and Gavin Cooper are also off-contract.
Scott in particular has battled injuries through the final years of his career, with a shoulder problem still hurting the 34-year-old in 2019.
"Seeing what he puts himself through each week to get on the paddock now," Green said.
"There is a great example with what he has done for the club over the years.
"That should be motivation enough to not play the way we played this afternoon.
"Some people need to have a good hard look at themselves."
Cowboys winger Jordan Kahu meanwhile battled through a repeat of his eye socket injury in Saturday's loss, while Jordan McLean got through unscathed on return from a calf complaint.
The Cowboys are meanwhile unsure if star lock Jason Taumalolo will return from a foot injury in time for Friday's home clash with Penrith.
"Hopefully he is back. It's one of those injuries that can vary. It can be short term, it's just a case of how he is going," Green said.
Australian Associated Press