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Mike McCarthy press conference: Punter Chris Jones to have surgery; experience the key for QB decision

The Cowboys turn their attention to the Steelers.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Cowboys have a massive challenge this week as the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town. The Steelers are undefeated and are rolling, the Cowboys are most definitely not doing that. Mike McCarthy addresses the situation in his latest press conference. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).


Quarterback decision

Mike McCarthy noted that the decision was made to go with the two experienced quarterbacks on the Cowboys when it comes to choosing a starter this week. He noted that with the opponent that the Cowboys are playing in the Pittsburgh Steelers that they need someone who has seen some more NFL action than Ben DiNucci. Garrett Gilbert has played in preseason games and Cooper Rush has experience in Kellen Moore’s offense were the reasons given by McCarthy.

McCarthy noted that it would be nice to come a decision on who will start sooner rather than later so they can give that player the majority of reps.

Andy Dalton is doing fine

The head coach noted that Andy Dalton, who was placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list on Tuesday, is doing fine and that they are hopeful they will be able to see him next week.

Main thing at quarterback

Asked what the main thing is in determining who will start at quarterback Mike McCarthy noted that the first thing for a player is to manage the huddle and the line of scrimmage for each play. He noted that there has been some issues with center/QB exchanges and then reiterated that the Cowboys have to limit how much they are turning the ball over. He also noted they need to manage the run game against a very aggressive defense, and then distribute the ball efficiently.

Decision is being made on experience level

Coach noted that Rush and Gilbert have been around the league longer which is what was the driving force behind this decision.

Both quarterbacks are smart

Asked what he likes about his two quarterback options he noted that they are both very intelligent and that they pick up on changes to the game plan. He said they both just need reps, and said that is what DiNucci will need, too.

Taking the next step on defense

McCarthy noted that the challenge against the Pittsburgh Steelers is far different than last week and specifically gave praise to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He said he believes the biggest challenge is to win the pre-snap and make sure the Cowboys are on top of their alignments and assignments. He said at the end of the day this is going to start up front and in the trenches.

Chidobe Awuzie

McCarthy noted that Chidobe Awuzie is slated to go through practice on Wednesday. He said that it was going to have to be a situation where Chido showed something all week in order to play on Sunday.

Chris Jones

On the last question of the day, McCarthy noted that punter Chris Jones is scheduled for a core muscle surgery on Thursday, a situation that he described as “multi-week”.