It is a new week and the second full one of Dallas Cowboys training camp practice action. Three weeks from now, an actual regular season game will be in the rearview mirror but there is a lot to do between now and then. This is a point that Mike McCarthy has stressed several times when he has spoken.
The head coach spoke on Monday morning and we have recapped it as we always do. Let’s see what Mike McCarthy had to say. A reminder that all answers are paraphrases and not actual quotes.
Thoughts on Earl Thomas
Veteran safety Earl Thomas has been linked to the Dallas Cowboys on a number of occasions over the last two and a half years. On Sunday he became a free agent and is therefore eligible to sign with any team that he wants.
McCarthy noted that the Cowboys are very happy with their 80-man roster but that these are more conversations for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Will McClay and that he had nothing really new to report.
He did mention that he had spoken to Will McClay about it, for what it’s worth.
Factoring in chemistry and what not
McCarthy was asked about how important chemistry is which is obviously related to Earl Thomas given why the Baltimore Ravens released him. He said that the most important thing to him is the locker room and that that can be a determining factor on whether or not something like this happens.
La’el Collins, Tyron Smith, and Sean Lee have all been players that the Cowboys have been monitoring. McCarthy noted that they are all doing well and that they would maybe be working into individual drill work soon. He added that he doesn’t have any serious long-term concerns for the group.
Dak Prescott’s decision-making
Amari Cooper said recently that Dak Prescott’s decision-making is what has improved the most from last season to this one. Coach was asked about this and didn’t go down the line of that particular question, but he was very complimentary of Dak.
McCarthy noted that Prescott is making those “two to three throws” every practice that you love to see from your starter. He added that Dak has total command of the offense at the moment.
Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith lead the way for the Cowboys in the middle of the defense, and McCarthy was very complimentary of the depth that the Cowboys have. He noted that not only have they looked good on defense but special teams as well.
LVE recently chose Francis Bernard as his own pet cat of sorts.
Absence of Jourdan Lewis
Jourdan Lewis is absent at the moment and McCarthy noted that Lewis is having a “heck of a camp” but in the meantime the younger players are getting more reps. He said that at the end of the day the Cowboys are evaluating personnel but also trying to utilize practice time to throw as many different situations as they can at the team.
No music in practice
Dallas Cowboys practices under Jason Garrett often featured music of a great variety, especially during compete periods. Mike McCarthy was asked about how rarely music is playing during his practices.
“I think there’s a place for music. I think even more so than any year that I’ve coached in this league this is probably a year for not very much music. Right now looks like we’re going to be playing our first game with no fans. I think that what I’ve always done is you try to keep your training environment as close to the game situation as possible. The influx of music for me in the practices that I’ve had in the past, there’s a purpose for it. So when the offense is playing on the road, we’ll have music during their periods for communication challenge and things like that. We play music during the tv timeouts, there’s what, two or three of those a practice. I think music’s great, but I think it needs to be at the appropriate time.”
This could be chalked up to being standard coach speak, but it does seem as if McCarthy has meticulously thought about every detail going into life with this team.
Thoughts on Connor Williams
Coach was asked if he is ready to cement Connor Williams as the team’s starting left guard for Week 1. He noted that you have to be careful when any player is coming off of injury and that these next two practices are a stress point of camp. He did say he was very impressed with Williams.