It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for Mike McCarthy’s final press conference of the week. Let’s check in on what the Cowboys head coach had to say about the upcoming game with the Browns. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Run defense for the Brown’s rushing attack
Coach said run defense is a focus for this game and he said based on how the Cowboys defense performed last week, he expects the Browns to take some deep shots early off play-action. He thought he Cowboys run defense is improving and that last week was better than the first couple of weeks.
DeMarcus Lawrence health
McCarthy noted that DeMarcus Lawrence did everything needed today and that he anticipates him playing on Sunday barring any kind of setback.
How Baker Mayfield is better this year
Coach said that it’s a small sample size and the offense is different this year, but Cleveland has more more run concepts with play-action and boots. He commented that the biggest change is in his footwork. Coach said that he believes in the footwork they are using, it’s they way he coaches it.
Working out of a traditional base
McCarthy was asked about operating out of nickel and base defenses and joked that he didn’t want to give up a lot of information and noted that the team will be in whatever personnel they need to be.
Tyron Smith on track to play on Sunday
McCarthy was asked about Tyron Smith being on track to play on Sunday and said that he is definitely headed in the direction of him being able to play against the Browns. He noted that he did everything he needed to yesterday at practice.
Things McCarthy has learned
A month into the season McCarthy said that he has learned his group is extremely resilient and that he very much enjoys the atmosphere that the Cowboys are building. He said they are trying to do it the right way and their own way and that there are a number of ways to go about things in the NFL but they are going about it their way with lots of input and collaboration.
Myles Garrett is a focal point
Coach McCarthy noted that Myles Garrett is a focal point of the Cowboys and that he will constantly be in their face from a pass rush perspective. He said they will definitely be aware of where he is at all times.
Will DeMarcus Lawrence be limited in the game
Asked if Lawrence will be a full-go or will they limit him in the game, coach said they use the feedback from Lawrence during the game to make any decisions about how many reps he plays.
We haven’t seen much of Connor McGovern since he was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round last year. McCarthy said he likes what he’s seeing from McGovern and that the guard is making progress and “just needs to stay the course.” He did say that coming off injury and with a new staff with no preseason meant he had to learn some new things but that he is getting comfortable now.
Good ball distribution
McCarthy said that he believes good ball distribution is getting the ball where it should go. He noted that you don’t want to force the ball to any one player because you might be passing up a better option. He noted that all of this is involved in how they line players up and develop their scheme.
Factors at right tackle
It is possible that Tyron Smith will play on Sunday as mentioned which would provide the Cowboys with more opportunities for flexibility along the offensive line. Many have wondered who would play at right tackle in terms of whether Terence Steele would stay there or Brandon Knight, with Tyron back, would switch over.
McCarthy noted they will weigh everything before making any decision.
Feelings on Aldon Smith and is this what should be expected from him going forward
Coach noted Smith has established a high standard of play and that you are what you put on film. He said Smith is off to an excellent start, but that the challenges will grow. Teams are now sliding protection to him after the Rams game.