The Cowboys now turn their attention to the Eagles with their faint hopes at a playoff spot still alive. Coach Mike McCarthy talked about that and more in today’s press conference. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Balancing the holidays
This is a big week for the Dallas Cowboys on the field, but it is also the holiday season and Friday marks Christmas Day. Mike McCarthy said that early in his head coaching career he learned it was important for everybody to be home for Christmas so the Cowboys have adjusted their schedule to accommodate that. They will not practice on Friday, Christmas, and will go longer on Saturday.
Policy on coaching opportunities
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has seen his name pop up in connection to the head coach opening at his alma mater, Boise State. Mike McCarthy said that you talk about these things when the time comes and handle those things on an individual basis because they are usually unique to the individual.
McCarthy noted that Leighton Vander Esch will not practice on Wednesday and he doesn’t see him playing this week. He added that Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup will both be limited and that he didn’t see anything holding Gallup back from playing this week. He also added that Antwaun Woods will not practice.
The Cowboys will face rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts on Sunday and McCarthy expressed great admiration for him. He noted that Hurts has been able to accomplish things on the run and as a passer and that you have to be impressed with his productivity through the last couple of games. He also noted that he’s done well with the vertical ball.
McCarthy noted that he doesn’t see Zack Martin “making it” this week but that he is still part of the process that is happening every week. He is in meetings and participating in everything.
The head coach noted it will be “a challenge” for Woods to go this week. He said the safety will not practice on Wednesday.
No Pro Bowl players
Asked about the Cowboys not having any Pro Bowl players on their roster McCarthy noted that in his experience team success has certainly gone a long way at making it. He noted that the Cowboys lack of success early on in the season made matters difficult.
McCarthy added that humility has been a large part of this season and that he thinks a lot of good things can come out of humility patches throughout a journey.
McCarthy gave some love to the rookie class and said that they have “hit the target” in the month of December. He noted it is important for rookies to develop due to games getting more and more important and that he is very pleased with the draft class and undrafted class. He noted that Justin Hamilton and Neville Gallimore are improving each week and that even the UDFA class is helping especially on special teams.
Asked for an update on Dak Prescott, McCarthy said the quarterback is doing very well. He said all of the guys on IR tend to be in the training room at the same time on a daily basis. He noted that Dak is very positive, upbeat, and is attacking his rehab.
Asked if Dak is in the quarterback room McCarthy said that Dak is around those guys, but that his primary focus is on rehab.