After a prolonged absence with the bye week, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy held a press conference on Monday. Let’s see what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Motivational path towards NFC East title
Mike McCarthy noted that obviously it is nice that the team is technically in a competitive place, and that the state of the division is obvious. He said that you go through different facts and details of the situation as a group, but that the bulk of the team’s focus and majority of messaging is on self-improvement. He noted that this is what the bye week is about and that he is hopeful the team came away with that impression.
Andy Dalton is clear for practice
McCarthy noted that the Cowboys had a mock game-type practice on Monday and that Andy Dalton was a full participant and that he had a good day. When asked about Dalton starting, he said they would have to get through the whole week of practice first.
The Dallas Cowboys saw their Covid-19 protocols upped in intensity last week as a result of the Pittsburgh Steelers dealing with matters related to it. He noted that the Cowboys really only lost Wednesday’s practice as far as logistics are concerned. He added that the team will be working from The Star this week and that the facility fortunately has a vast amount of space so the team can continue to adhere to social distancing protocols.
Hitting a stride offensively
McCarthy said the biggest thing they would like on offense is to get some continuity and efficiency there. He noted that special teams has had a fairly settled unit, and defense has picked up the last two weeks as they have started to settle their combinations. But on offense, he said the different QBs and the offensive line combinations has made it difficult and that is what he hopes settles down going forward.
Pep in the team’s step
Asked if the Cowboys players had a particular pep in their steam on Monday as a direct result of Sunday’s results within the NFC East, McCarthy said that energy was definitely high, but that he doesn’t believe it was necessarily in relation to Week 10’s action. He thought it was from the team being well-rested after the bye week.
Tyrone Crawford’s status on COVID-19 list
McCarthy noted that he has not been cleared to re-join the team at this time, but he is hopeful that Crawford will be ready in the next few days.
McCarthy noted that Chido looked great on Monday at the practice and he is hopeful that Awuzie will play this week.
Trevon Diggs’ injury
Coach noted that it was a big blow and that Diggs has been one of the best players on the defense and that he’s been impactful. He said it’s a multi-week injury and that the next player would have to step up.
Conditioning for Andy Dalton
It is obviously possible that Andy Dalton will start at quarterback for the team on Sunday in Minnesota. McCarthy noted that he believes Andy is in fine shape and is a professional and should be ready if that’s the case.
Run defense improvement
Coach thinks they have been playing their techniques better and getting off blocks better while also pursuing the ball. He thinks they are playing with more energy on the techniques, and that guys are getting used to the scheme and with each other.