Week 4 in the NFL is rolling along and the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for a game with the Cleveland Browns. Coach Mike McCarthy took some time out of his schedule to meet with the press to talk about the Cowboys plans. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Positioned to have a fourth receiver pop up to have big games
The Cowboys saw a great performance from Cedrick Wilson last week, and Dalton Schultz the previous week. McCarthy noted that he’s a fan of other players stepping up and showing out as it is a long year when you look at the season as a whole so getting everybody involved is a wise thing given that different defenses focus on different players. He said the team does focus on ball distribution and that they want the quarterback to go through specific progressions. He thinks Kellen Moore has done a good job of making that happen and Dak Prescott has also been good at it. He commented that going through their four read progression families helps keep a quarterback on track for his time clock.
McCarthy said that Tyron Smith is slated to practice today, including team period. He didn’t go into a dramatic amount of detail but did say that this was by design and that Thursday is the team’s 11-on-11 day with pads on.
Coach said he would work with trainers today but that they are more managing his injury and he expects him to go this week.
Decision at right tackle
McCarthy said they will make a decision between Brandon Knight and Terence Steele for the right tackle spot if Tyron Smith is able to go this week. He said both players have hit the mark so far this season.
Thoughts on playing against Kevin Stefanski
Mike McCarthy and Kevin Stefanski have history with one another from when the former was with the Green Bay Packers and the latter the Minnesota Vikings. McCarthy noted that you can see the blending of the offensive scheme in Cleveland. He said that you see a Bill Callahan run game with outside zone runs and that there is an emphasis there on running the football with their dynamic running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. He also noted things like being able to see different footwork from Baker Mayfield from last year to this year. He said at the end of the day it’s about their scheme and how they’re utilizing their players.
Dak Prescott is leading the NFL in various passing categories, but obviously the Cowboys have been in situations so far this season that dictated passing the ball and moving things in that capacity. McCarthy noted this is obviously a factor in why Dak has the statistics that he does but that Dak is playing at a high level. He noted that the team wants to be aggressive offensively and that this is what they feel suits the players that they have on offense. He noted that you have to view each game as its own entity and that they have a general idea of how they would like the game to go, but that football obviously isn’t predictable.
Three straight home games
McCarthy was asked if he viewed the season in those sorts of increments (three straight home games), he noted there is definitely some of that. He acknowledged that typically you break a season down into quarters but that this next run of games is obviously a bit of a block on its own.
He said that this is a stretch that the Cowboys need to take advantage of and noted that you very rarely get three home games in a row.
Part of the conditions for Randy Gregory’s reinstatement noted that he would not be eligible to join the Cowboys in practice until October 5th. McCarthy noted that they haven’t made that determination yet but that everyone feels good about his conditioning.
Michael Gallup’s go-get-it ability
McCarthy said that Michael Gallup can go up and get it in a “phone booth-type environment”. He said he has been extremely impressed with Gallup and that going up to get it is clearly one of the best things that the wide receiver does. He is impressed with his vertical catches.
57 is too many
Dak Prescott threw the ball 57 times last week and Mike McCarthy noted that this number on its own is too many because it shows what type of game that was. He said if he was going to draw up the perfect game that it would be a 30/40 ratio between the run and the pass (in terms of number of attempts).