There are a lot of questions regarding the Cowboys both on an injury front and in terms of how the team played on Sunday.
This game marked the first one in the Mike McCarthy era so naturally what he had to say about it is of interest. The head coach took to the podium on Monday to discuss what went down, and we have recapped it all for you right here.
A reminder that all answers are paraphrases and not exact quotes.
How did Joe Thomas and Dalton Schultz do replacing the injured
Coach thought both players did well and that the team did not have to alter the game plan to accommodate them. He said he met with Jerry, Stephen and Will McClay about moving forward and they will have a plan
Bringing in new players for the injured guys
Obviously the Cowboys have some holes they need to fill due to injury. McCarthy noted that the team will add players but that they will likely come from the practice squad although he said Will McClay is always working the league and it’s an on-going process.
Assessing right tackle
The Cowboys started their undrafted free agent rookie offensive tackle Terence Steele at right tackle on Sunday and McCarthy noted that he felt Steele played well. He did add that the Cowboys looked like a team that played their first game together, that the honeymoon is over, and that the time to win games is now. He thought the third down win percentage on both sides of the ball was a big issue.
Issues on third down
He felt the Rams were very efficient on first and second down so they converted third downs where the Cowboys were not.
There were some positives
McCarthy was very honest in that the Cowboys were not up to par in Los Angeles but he did say that he felt like the team did some noteworthy things. He talked about how they won the turnover battle as one, but said that there are many things that need to be corrected.
Ezekiel Elliott’s usage
Coach raved about Ezekiel Elliott’s intelligence and instincts and said he was very impressed with their first game together.
Inefficiency in passing game on third down
Asked about this, McCarthy noted that the Cowboys had long distances to go on third downs which obviously make them more difficult. He also noted the QB was under duress. He reiterated that this was the first game for the Cowboys and that they had a number of timing issues to work on through every position. Things like depth on routes, or the timing of double-team blocks, and other timing issues need to be worked on.
McCarthy complimented his linebacker and said that he thought Jaylon played well in Los Angeles. He said he thought he was extremely active and physical.
Decision to go for it on fourth down isn’t doubted
Many have wondered whether McCarthy made the right decision to go for it on fourth down near the goal line. He said that he feels it was in the best interest of the team and that when things like that work they are great decisions and when they don’t that they aren’t. He noted they calculated things like time of game, where they are on the field, and the chance to grab momentum when making the decision.
Gallup pass interference call
While saying that the officiating crew did a good job in the game and that they communicated well with him, he was critical of the pass interference call on Gallup. He said watching the TV copy of the play made him sick. He thought that Gallup had run and excellent route and got his hips over the defensive back’s, but that the defensive back clamped his arm. Gallup had to work his arm free to make the catch. He said it was a call he wouldn’t like to see be made and that he thought it was an excellent catch and throw.