"I think it was long overdue," Cruz said Tuesday on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "I think it was a couple of weeks already too late. Once you see guys in the locker room start to give these anonymous reports about how he's handling them and how practice on (Saturday), that's how you know he's completely lost the locker room and completely lost the players."
The Giants (2-10) fired the second-year head coach in a housecleaning on Monday morning, less than a week after the benching of quarterback Eli Manning created a backlash from fans. The club also fired Jerry Reese, who becomes the first general manager known to be let go in-season by the team.
Cruz, who spent seven seasons with the Giants, pointed to the way the team handled the Manning situation as one of the primary reasons to dismiss McAdoo.
"Benching Eli was probably one of the most disrespectful things I've seen in a very long time," the 31-year-old Cruz said. "I think what he's done for that organization, what he's done for the city of New York. Especially this season where essentially you have nothing to play for, and you're going to bench a guy that's been your most consistent piece in 13, 14 years in that organization to assess your talent in the last four games of the season? I didn't understand that.
"Especially a guy like Eli, you want him to go out and finish the year strong, finish the year how he wants. He's earned the right to finish the year how he wants to finish the year. Not being benched. And then don't slap him in the face and say 'Hey, we'll start you for a half just to keep the keep the streak alive.' That's not Eli's swagger, that's not how he is. He wants to be out there, and he wants to perform and win."
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over as interim head coach. Assistant general manager Kevin Abrams has been named interim GM for the rest of the season.
A search for Reese's full-time replacement will begin immediately and it will be led by former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, co-owner John Mara told reporters on Monday.
Cruz caught 303 passes for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns in 70 games with the Giants.