The first external free agent that the Dallas Cowboys brought in this offseason was a big one, and a name that a lot of fans were excited to see. Dallas addressed the interior of their defensive line when they were able to land Gerald McCoy. With McCoy’s 2019 Panthers teammate Dontari Poe also in the fold, the Cowboys are a solid right edge rusher away from having a line that people are completely satisfied with.
McCoy spent last season in Carolina after a lengthy career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is one of the league’s more fun personalities but we have yet to see a lot from him since he chose America’s Team. Thankfully for all of us, Gerald McCoy made an appearance on the latest episode of Marty Smith’s America The Podcast. He addressed a variety of things that were very interesting, but three stood out among the rest.
He is no longer practicing a completely vegan diet
There was a lot of chatter when the Cowboys landed McCoy about his vegan diet. While there was a point in time when McCoy was all-the-way with this lifestyle, he has since blended different philosophies.
Gerald McCoy: Well for me… I kind of do a little of both now. Because last year in training camp… so what I wanted to do was test the vegan out. And I loved it. But what I came to realize is with a guy at my size, it wasn’t sustainable to be fully vegan. So I’ve kind of been going in and out of it with my diet because I started realizing… I still was explosive and I had everything I needed, but it wasn’t sustainable. So I had to get some other protein back in my diet.
Marty Smith: Why wasn’t it sustainable? You couldn’t keep the weight on you needed?
Gerald McCoy: No when I say sustainable I mean my explosion. So my legs, my muscles, would start kind of shaking a little bit because they didn’t have the energy they needed. And I wasn’t able, I didn’t realize this, like in practice I was fine, but once I got in my first couple of preseason games I realized when I have to push off, drive, and then turn and take off running… I felt like I couldn’t run like I wanted to. And I realized it was my diet.
Why he chose the Dallas Cowboys
As noted, McCoy is someone that has provided a lot of great sound bites since he’s been in the NFL. Personalities like that seem made for the Dallas Cowboys and that is clearly a disposition he shares to a degree.
McCoy noted that he chose the Cowboys partly for their prestige, but also due to their head coach and the composition of the overall roster. He noted that he believes he’s part of the answer that Dallas needs.
Marty Smith: You leave us here in Charlotte and you’re headed to Big D. The Dallas Cowboys. Why was that the right fit for you?
Gerald McCoy: Well it was a number of different reasons, man. One it’s the star. It’s the highest-grossing team in the world. So that’s one thing. I grew up in Oklahoma which is like two and a half hours from there. So I grew up starting out as a Cowboys fan eventually becoming a Bucs fan, but if you didn’t know somebody or yourself at some point wasn’t a Cowboys fan and you’re from Oklahoma, there’s something wrong with you. Just being honest. And I mean… watching them. Being in the NFL. You see them dang near every week. So I mean just overall it’s the Cowboys.
And then secondly… I was a big fan of Coach McCarthy when he was at Green Bay. And I had a chance to play for him at the Pro Bowl and get to know him just a little bit. I always was a fan. My dad was always a fan. So I looked at it as an opportunity this’ll be exciting to play for him. And then I can be close to my family. My best friend lives there. My wife’s sister lives there. My sister lives there. So it’s nothing but opportunity honestly.
And then honestly… I truly believe this team has an opportunity to win, man. They’re in win now mode. I believe Dak is coming off his best season. Zeke has been consistent. They’ve got a solid o-line, always have. Sucks to lose Travis Frederick, but they have the rest of the guys in place. They can keep the momentum and keep things going. And I just felt like myself and a couple of other pieces were missing on defense to really help this team help the corner. I was excited about the opportunity.
Mike McCarthy might view him as a Charles Woodson-type leader
You are likely well-aware that Mike McCarthy was the head coach of the 2010 Green Bay Packers that won Super Bowl XLV. That game was played in AT&T Stadium, although at the time named Cowboys Stadium.
One of the strongest leaders on that Packers team was legendary defensive back Charles Woodson. Based on how McCoy thinks McCarthy might impact the Cowboys, it appears as if the head coach might’ve sold the defensive tackle on filling that type of leadership role on his new team.
Marty Smith: You noted your respect for Mike McCarthy. How do you expect he might impact the Cowboys culture?
Gerald McCoy: Well he’s had a history of winning. I can say this, he said it, you get spoiled with having a player like Aaron Rodgers. One of, in my opinion, top five quarterbacks in history. He’s my favorite player so I’m always going to be a little biased towards Aaron Rodgers. He’s had that but he’s also had great teams that he’s put together with great leadership. If you look at that Super Bowl team he had, Charles Woodson was one of the main leaders. And then you just put playmakers around him, but it was a lot of great leadership, man. That’s what I believe that this team was missing. And I believe he’s going to put us in a great position to win. It’s just going to be up to us, the leaders on the team, to make it go.
It is certainly interesting that McCoy’s favorite player is Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps he can help the Cowboys finally get over the hump that Rodgers has always provided for them.