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Mike McCarthy press conference: Anthony Brown likely to return, Randy Gregory will start practicing

Coach McCarthy took questions from the press ahead of this week’s clash with the Giants.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are in a slide and coach Mike McCarthy needs to figure a way to get them out of it. Maybe bringing in the hapless Giants will help. Coach took some questions about the state of the team and the upcoming game against New York. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).


Guarding against pressing on offense

The Cowboys are playing extremely well on offense at the moment but obviously struggling on the other side of the ball. Asked if this situation could force McCarthy to press on the team’s strength he noted that it is not ideal to lean too far in one direction or overreact to any particularly poor performance. He noted the focus is on improving from an overall perspective. He thought that Dak Prescott has played with patience and command.

Creating confidence on defense

McCarthy noted that there were spots in the game when the defense isn’t playing with confidence, and that they are indecisive and that causes hesitation. He said they need to focus in practice and that changing the scheme and techniques can create hurdles and he is disappointed they are not past that yet, but they will continue to work on it.

Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz

The time has come to where Randy Gregory can practice with the Cowboys. McCarthy said he will do so in a limited fashion and will start with individual drills. He also noted that Dalton Schultz will also start off in individual drills.

When pressed more about Gregory, he noted he is excited to see him. He’s watched him in rehab drills and has heard a lot about him from Jerry and Stephen. He is excited about seeing him.

Discussion on going back to a bubble

NFL teams are unfortunately seeing positive Covid-19 tests which begs the question as to what the best possible practice is for each group. McCarthy said a lot of things have been discussed and that there is a large emphasis on following protocols both within the building and when people go home.

Public criticizing of players for lack of effort

Coach said earlier in the week that people need to be careful when it comes to criticizing lack of effort from professional players. McCarthy noted that there was a day in the NFL where you could caution players to avoid things like the newspaper and more conventional media but that nowadays it is difficult from a practicality standpoint to have players avoid what the world is saying about them. He noted at the end of the day it’s about the commitment inside the locker room and that he has a responsibility to speak openly and frank but that his primary focus will always be about the development, integrity, and trust of the locker room.

Turnover ratio

Coach thinks creating turnovers is a fine motor skill. He noted that Charles Tillman was the best at it with the “peanut punch”, he said they have a highlight tape of him creating turnovers. He thought over the he last ten years defensive players have done a tremendous job of taking the ball out. He said they practice it everyday. If an opposing player has poor ball carriage, that’s something they highlight. He noted it’s all about turnover ratio. he is disappointed with a -7 ratio with three turnovers in the last three games in a row. He said his history on turnover ratio is +103, that shows his focus. He finished by saying they they need to do a better job in practice and transfer that into the game.

Thoughts on Jason Garrett’s offense

The Cowboys will host Jason Garrett for the first time since he was the team’s head coach. McCarthy noted that you can see similarities in what the Giants are doing to what Garrett did with the Cowboys. He said the Giants are off to a solid start and noted that the culture of the Cowboys is a very strong one.

Dak Prescott’s play in the fourth quarter

Coach likes the way he hangs in there, takes the play, delivers, and he complimented his ability at the line of scrimmage, and that he’s consistent. He also complimented his ability to throw the ball from the pocket even though defenses know that is what you are going to do. McCarthy made the point that you don’t want to always play coming from behind, but that Dak is leading an offense that is extremely productive.

Leighton Vander Esch

LVE is going to start acclimating himself back into things, but coach was unsure if he would progress pass the rehab stage for now.

Importance of divisional games

McCarthy noted that division games are the most important games of the year and the focus is high. He said you really need to win at least four of them to contend the for the division crown.

Thoughts on letting Brandon Carr go

McCarthy said in response to that release the team feels good about Anthony Brown returning, and they like some of their younger guys.