Coach Mike McCarthy answered questions about the Cowboys recent win over the Giants, and the loss of their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott. Here is a recap of that press conference. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Mike McCarthy has spoken to Dak Prescott
Coach McCarthy said on Monday that he has spoken to Dak Prescott and that Dak is doing well and in good spirits. He noted that Dak was excited to get home and is excited (all things considered) to start his journey back to football.
Adjustments for Andy Dalton
McCarthy noted that Dalton had a rough first play early on but played “flawless football” after that and that at the end of the day they are going to start the operation for the Arizona Cardinals with all of the tools necessary to win the game. He said Andy will lead the charge there on offense. He said Dalton has the experience and ability to go ahead.
Dak Prescott timeline
Coach agreed that he has heard the 4 to 6 month timeline, but he thought that knowing Dak he would challenge any timeline.
Unique situation that the Cowboys landed Dalton
McCarthy noted that the Cowboys were fortunate to land Andy Dalton when they did. He said that Dalton has been a professional since his first day with the team and that he has shared his wealth of knowledge with the whole room. He noted Dalton had a good camp and you can see his competitive nature and said that he doesn’t see the team really changing a whole lot. He said Dalton is very detailed and organized with his game plans and shares that knowledge. He also complimented his competitive nature, and his accuracy and anticipation.
Usage of backups
McCarthy used backup quarterbacks multiple times throughout his tenure with the Green Bay Packers all the way from Matt Flynn to Scott Tolzien. He noted that Andy has a lot of experience for them to build off of.
Relying on Ezekiel Elliott
McCarthy said they want to be able to run the football regardless and that the game against the Giants was the first of this season where they played complementary team defense. He did note the point total was too high, but that 14 points came from turnovers. He said he felt good about the step the Cowboys took as a team on Sunday. He especially noted the defense making a stop at the end to get the ball back for the game-winning kick.
Dak rehab at the facility
Coach said they don’t have a plan in place yet, they were just focusing on getting him home and comfortable. But coach felt sure he would be around the building when he can.
Thoughts on adding another quarterback
McCarthy said that since they only have two in the building that the Cowboys will definitely be adding another quarterback.
Who’s your guess?
CeeDee Lamb’s impressive start
Coach said that yesterday when you watch Lamb play, he plays with a lot of maturity for a rookie. He noted a specific example on a simple three-step drop where Lamb made a read on a coverage element that you usually don’t see in that coverage and he read it. He said it shows his instincts and smarts, and wasn’t something they had practiced a lot and that he is just a natural player.
Trysten Hill injury
McCarthy noted that going off of the tape from last year that Trysten Hill might be the most improved defensive player on the team and without question the most improved defensive lineman. He said Trysten has a bright future ahead of himself.
Mike Nolan moving to the sidelines
McCarthy said that Nolan moving from the booth to the sidelines was something that the two of them talked about together but he noted that it was a move that Nolan wanted to make.
He discussed the need for communication to the players in a timely manner. He noted that the biggest change here in his opinion was the defense being able to get together as a group. He added that they will continue to do it this way going forward.
Defensive line and offensive line
Coach thought that the defense got more pressure this week and a key to that was getting the Giants in down and distance situations where they could rush the passer. He felt that in the second half especially they were more consistent with the pressure.
He thought the offensive line had a productive day as the team was able to balance the run and the pass. He noted there are always thing to work on but that the big element is for these five guys to be able to practice together this week and start getting some continuity.