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Mike McCarthy press conference: Explaining the recent cuts; Xavier Woods back today

The Dallas Cowboys head coach spoke on Thursday.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up to visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, and they are sorely in need of a win.

We have seen the team make a number of moves so far this week by trading away Everson Griffen and then releasing both Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley. How the head coach feels about those things is obviously of interest.

What did Mike McCarthy have to say on Thursday? The head coach took to the podium and we have recapped it for you right here. A reminder that all answers are paraphrases and not exact quotes.


Releasing Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley

The Dallas Cowboys did indeed release two of their free agent signings from this past offseason. Mike McCarthy said it was about giving younger players more opportunities. Asked about Jerry Jones’ comments regarding Dontari Poe’s weight Mike McCarthy said that you look at all variables for what it takes for players to be successful. He reiterated that the Cowboys feel this decision benefits the team and the younger players on the team.

Neville Gallimore and Antwaun Woods will benefit

Asked who the younger players are that will see the snaps that were going to Dontari Poe the head coach named both Neville Gallimore and Antwaun Woods.

Ben DiNucci doesn’t lack confidence

Mike McCarthy said that Ben DiNucci commands the huddle well which he noted can be an important quality, especially amid bumpy times.

Xavier Woods will practice

There was some chatter about Xavier Woods missing practice on Wednesday, but Mike McCarthy noted that Xavier was tending to a personal matter and will be back on Thursday.

Andy Dalton will not

While McCarthy confirmed that Dalton will not practice on Thursday he did say that Andy has been a part of meetings lately.

Ben DiNucci has mobility

There has been some talk about Ben DiNucci’s ability to move around and Mike McCarthy acknowledged that this is definitely a trait that Ben possesses. He did say that at the end of the day the Cowboys are getting ready to play a very aggressive defense and that they anticipate a lot of defenders close to the line of scrimmage.

Bringing Cooper Rush back

The Cowboys returned a familiar face in Cooper Rush as they now have the veteran on their practice squad. McCarthy noted that Rush went through some of the virtual work with the Cowboys early on and that he obviously has familiarity with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

The focus is improvement

Asked if winning the NFC East is the focus of the Cowboys at the moment, given that it is obviously still possible, McCarthy noted that the focus is simply improving. He said he doesn’t focus on the big picture, he added that he feels this is a waste of time, and that the focus is on fundamentals and the plan one week at a time. He noted that playoff scenarios don’t really mean anything until you get to the end.

Tweaking practice?

The Cowboys aren’t starting games well and as a result Mike McCarthy was asked if he would potentially tweak the way that they practice. He noted that there are a number of ways to go about practicing and that he has done a variety of them throughout his career.

Replacing Daryl Worley’s snaps

The Cowboys also released Daryl Worley which means that there are some cornerback snaps up for grabs. McCarthy noted that he likes what Steven Parker has to offer and said that Reggie Robinson has been working at safety but that his first step to action would be through special teams.