The Dallas Cowboys are prepping for their Sunday game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Before that happens, head coach Mike McCarthy met with the press to discuss the state of the team as they get ready for action. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Dealing with the Bengals offense
McCarthy said first you want to stop the run and that their running backs are productive on inside runs. He noted their ability to play 50/50 with the pass and run, but the focus is on stopping the run.
Donovan Wilson status
Coach said he will be off to the side today unless something has changed from their morning meeting. He doesn’t anticipate him doing a whole lot.
‘Effort and finish’ message he gave to players yesterday
McCarthy said messaging happens each and every day, that’s what team meetings are for, they are always trying to improve the message. He said they talked about finishing and that it ties to preparation and performance and that they are not where they need to be. He said their record reflects that and it’s not just one area or person, everyone is 3-9.
Getting a read on the team in a short week
Coach noted that veteran players you don't concern yourself with as much, they have past experience to draw from. He focuses on the younger players who need the physical reps and that they had guys up last week for the first time. He finished by saying it’s a heavy day of practice today and they will focus on young guys getting reps.
Has Aldon Smith hit a wall?
Coach thinks it’s more what he is going through physically, injuries and the he hasn’t played football in a long time before this year, plus the unusual offseason leading up to it. He said Smith has been battling through it and has a good outlook on it.
Zeke adamant he will play
McCarthy said they will trust the medical staff. They won't expose him to a situation that could affect his future. It will be a medical decision like each week.
Chido on COVID, depth at corner
Coach is focused on the young guys who will practice today and will see how Anthony Brown gets through the week. Coach also said the Chido situation is not totally confirmed yet.
Are you evaluating your assistants these last four games?
McCarthy said he is always evaluating assistants, and players, and the support staff, and evaluating himself as a head coach. When you put together a practice plan, he said you have to ask am I giving the team the best plan. You always evaluate.
Andy Dalton this week
Coach noted Dalton clearly understands the Bengals’ personnel, he knows the players, and that’s been good this week.
Is Zack Martin done for the year?
Coach would only say that he’s rehabbing and he has no comment on where he is now except that he’s getting better and they will see what the future brings.