The Cowboys are coming off their worst game of the year with the team trending downward after Dak Prescott’s injury. Mike McCarthy meets with the press to try and explain just what is going on with this team. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
A critical juncture?
McCarthy noted that the goal is to win every single week and that you are always working on certain components of your football team. He added that the team has yet to win a road game and that this game is important in that it is on the road and in the division.
McCarthy said that details surrounding Zack Martin will not be fully known until later in the week.
Reports about player not happy with coaching
It was reported on Tuesday that there is some discontent between the Cowboys players and coaches. McCarthy noted that he has always told every team that he has coached that it is important to handle things as men and that if you have something to say publicly that it is important to say it to the individual, especially in the game of football.
Confidence that things will improve?
Coach says he has the confidence in the men he works with, but there is still a learning curve. He believes they need to coach better, and coaching can be broken down into teach and demand, while the player’s job is to prepare and perform. He said it’s hard when you work hard and it doesn’t show up on Sunday. He specifically said they need to teach and demand in regards to the ball security problem, that is coaching.
Asked about former Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy having trouble with fumbles, McCarthy noted that he was a punishing-type of running back like Ezekiel Elliott can be. McCarthy also referenced Aaron Rodgers and highlighted how important it is not to turn the ball over. He specifically focused on the fact that sometimes you have to sacrifice production for ball security, sometimes you have to give up the extra yards. He said that defenses are very good at extracting the ball now.
Have the Cowboys improved?
Asked if the Cowboys have improved in six games, McCarthy said that looking at trendlines that the team’s trendline is not pointing in the right direction. He said that he needs to find a way to teach and demand the proper things so that the Cowboys can achieve them. He said he feels the players have been very accountable and that the messaging between players and coaches has been consistent and constant.
Support for Mike Nolan
McCarthy said that the Cowboys are in the infant stages of what they want to do defensively. He said it is all part of the first-year challenges. He noted that this is a change from the old system here and that this is a philosophy he wanted to bring here and they need to build off of it.
The veteran cornerback did not play a lot in the second half and Mike McCarthy said that going into the game the Cowboys had two primary personnel groups that they were going to play. He noted the big touchdown that Worley gave up but said that as the head coach he wants everybody on the game day roster to play. He wants all 48 guys to play at least 10 plays in a game.
More pride from the defense?
McCarthy noted that he obviously did not like the way that it ended and that it was another bite of humble pie. He said that the Cowboys were overzealous to the play side on the long TD run at the end and that at the end of the day it comes down to gap integrity and consistency.
Jerry Jones is about winning
McCarthy is the first new head coach that Jerry Jones’ team has had in some time and the man in charge said that Jerry Jones has a clear passion for winning. He said that he enjoys the conversations that he’s had with Jerry and that there is always something to learn every time that they do speak. He noted that at these times they are talking about philosophical approach to systems and what not.
Brandon Knight had surgery on Tuesday
Talking about the injuries on the offensive line, McCarthy revealed that Brandon Knight suffered a knee injury on Monday night and had surgery on Tuesday. McCarthy thinks he’ll be out a couple of weeks at least.
Should the defense have been simplified earlier?
It’s all part of the check and balance process, especially for first-year coaches according to McCarthy. He noted they simplified the defense after the second game, but he feels strongly about the philosophy on defense and the way they are going. He said coaches have to be accountable, but players also have to be accountable to changing techniques, etc.
Connor Williams at tackle?
Coach noted you have to look at your capabilities but he feels it is very important to get some continuity. He said the process of replacing Knight starts tomorrow and that Connor McGovern will go for Zack if Martin can’t play this week.
Ezekiel Elliott’s took the blame for the game and his fumbles
McCarthy said that Zeke’s heart is in the right place and that at the end of the day that’s why he has such great belief in the team getting it right. He said that Elliott will start this week when directly asked that question.