Not much went right for the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day as they were blown out by the Washington Football Team, 41-16. Coach Mike McCarthy gave his thoughts on what happened and what the future holds at a press conference. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Zack Martin and Cam Erving
Mike McCarthy noted that both of the team’s starting tackles from their Thanksgiving Day game will be out multiple weeks. He added that Erving has an MCL sprain and that Martin has a calf injury.
Sense of desperation before the fake punt
Coach said anytime you get into a game, you have to assess the flow, the variables of when you go for it, and that characteristics like field position and down and distance come into it. He noted all play-callers are looking for a scheme versus scheme matchup and that they thought that everything lined before that play, and that he was also projecting how many possessions they had left and that he was concerned about how the run defense was playing.
Open receiver on the fake punt play
It was asked about an open receiver on the fake punt and McCarthy said he hasn’t gone over it with the players and coaches yet as he was attending to things around the Markus Paul passing this morning and hadn’t been in meetings this morning. He said he thought that Cedrick Wilson had a sense that there was a defender on the edge and felt like he had to cut back before getting the ball out.
Questions about Thursday’s game
There is some question as to the status of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, and with Baltimore as the Cowboys’ next opponent obviously their schedule could be impacted. The Ravens are dealing with multiple positive tests for Covid-19 and things right now are truly unknown. Mike McCarthy echoed this.
He did note that if the Cowboys game gets moved to Sunday, that the players may get more time off beyond them already being off today and tomorrow.
Mike McCarthy noted that Friday morning involved a lot of details tending to the passing of Markus Paul. He said that the aftermath of what happened on Tuesday was emotionally exhausting and that he was very proud of the way that the Cowboys players played in response to the tragedy. He said that Markus Paul is missed greatly and that he cannot say enough about the way that the team went out and competed. He added that he had no idea how the Cowboys were going to play, a feeling that he said you never have as a coach.
Run defense problems
Coach again noted that he hasn’t been in meetings yet today and reviewed film, but he thought that they were not clean on the run defense and that Washington got to the edge far too often.
McCarthy said the Cowboys have been through an incredibly challenging week. He was asked if he was concerned, with regards to the football of it all, about things continuing to hang over the team and he responded that this is a part of life, not just football. He noted that the team will continue to work through it together.
Fighting the sense of the season being over
Coach said there’s a lot of football left. He noted the pattern has been going one way but he is hopeful and will be grateful when it turns. He said he doesn’t throw in the cards and that you line up to win each hand.
Tough circumstances for young tackles
Brandon Knight and Terence Steele were both thrust into the game against Washington and Mike McCarthy noted that it was a challenging set of circumstances with them having to come in on such short notice.