Mike McCarthy is back to answer questions from the media as the Cowboys prepare for their Monday night bout with the Cardinals. Let’s see what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Leighton Vander Esch and Randy Gregory
McCarthy noted that Leighton Vander Esch and Randy Gregory had really good practices. He said Vander Esch looked like he hadn’t missed a beat but that today is his first time in pads so that is a big key. He also said that Randy was in a specific pass rush drill and looked really good. He is excited about getting them back.
First practice without Dak Prescott
McCarthy noted that he felt Dak missing, especially in the way he commands the offense. He noted that you have to turn the page and that Andy Dalton has a different leadership style but that they were good yesterday in pre-snap and post-snap communication.
Andy Dalton is very exact
He said Dalton’s style is very exact and detailed, and that he is direct in his communication with a very smart way of communicating his points. He said Dalton knows exactly what to say and when to say it. He added that Andy is someone that everybody loves.
Joe Philbin as a coach
McCarthy called offensive line coach Joe Philbin an outstanding teacher, and said he is great in front of the room and is a true fundamentalists. Coach admires his ability to teach offensive line play. He said just watch him in individual drills and you can see it. He is consistent in his demands of the players and is a good motivator. He noted that the Cowboys have some young tackles and centers that are getting better and have good growth potential.
Go with the same starting offensive line
Coach said he hoped to go with the same offensive line group. He said coaches get them prepared but the players now have the opportunity to play. Coach finished by saying the best offensive lines practice together and play games together.
Randy Gregory ready to play after this game
McCarthy called it a work in progress, but said Gregory was full speed yesterday. Coach is looking forward today as it will be Gregory’s first time back in padded work. He said they will see how he feels after today but that things are heading in the right direction.
Everson Griffen missed Thursday’s practice on a personal manner, according to McCarthy. The head coach noted that Everson is back for Friday.
Satisfied with pass rush against the Giants
McCarthy thought they turned it up in the second half, that they tweaked some things in coverage after halftime. He noted the big thing was creating down and distance for the pass rush and that increased the pressure on the QB.
Mike Nolan on the sideline
Coach thinks it’s important for Mike to be down there, especially with a new staff that hasn’t worked together before. McCarthy thinks in calling games it’s important to be on the field, so you can see the body language of the players and other small details live close to the action. He said you do get a better view of the overall schemes from the box, but that based on where they are on defense now, it is better to have him on the field.