Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy did his regular press conference with the local media on Thursday morning. Let’s check in and see what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Trevon Diggs health
McCarthy noted that Trevon Diggs, who popped up on the injury report on Wednesday with a shoulder issue, suffered his injury during last Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. The plan is to try to get him in individual drills today and see how he responds to that. Coach noted they felt pretty food about his work yesterday in rehab.
Tyron Smith health
Coach said he is working in the rehab group again.
DeMarcus Lawrence health
He is back today. It was reported that he missed Wednesday’s practice because his wife was in labor. All the best to the Lawrence family. McCarthy noted that he will start in the rehab group and that hopefully he can work in individual drills. Tank suffered a knee injury against Atlanta.
Brandon Carr experience needed
Mike McCarthy said that Brandon Carr can play both cornerback and safety and that he has gotten a lot of work in practice lately after going through an acclimation period.
Gambling/being aggressive on offense
Coach doesn’t believe in gambling, he said his dad owned a bar that had two poker machines and he saw a lot of money wasted there. But he definitely thinks he is aggressive.
He noted that he is less aggressive today than he was early in Green Bay. He said he once called a fake FG on 4th and 24, and it worked and they scored. He said all calls are based on preparation in practice. At the end of the day he wants to keep the football in the player’s hands. He noted this season, so far, is a small sample size, but everything they have done they had prepared for.
He also said they targeted the second punt after watching the Falcons gunners on the first punt. He said everything looked good except for the execution was not good enough. On the second fake punt, he explained they had seen an indicator on the Falcons punt return unit, but that Atlanta changed up late in the pre-play after the pre-snap read and the result reflected that. He conceded that you will get criticism when these things don’t work but that they put a lot of preparation into these calls.
Environment in Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks have one of the more formidable crowd situations throughout the NFL and McCarthy noted that. Obviously there won’t be a crowd for Sunday’s game, but McCarthy said that it is always difficult to play there. He added that at the end of the day it’s still football and that the Cowboys have had different experiences so far this season with Los Angeles being so quiet and AT&T Stadium having a bit more noise.
Time of possession battle importance
Coach noted that it has not been in the Cowboys favor the past two weeks. He said part of the problem was the third down defense and that it needs to improve. He also pointed out that not taking care of the ball was an issue, they are -2 in turnover margin so far. They need to keep the defense off the field and keep them in pass rush situations instead of 50/50 pass/run. He noted it as important to keep the down and distance tilted toward the defense.
Mental errors on defense
McCarthy declined to get into specifics as far as mental errors on defense, but he said that there have been many. Asked if he thought it would help the team to scale things back so as to avoid mistakes in that capacity, McCarthy noted that it is something that the team has talked about. He added finally that you have to look at the whole picture, the why it’s happening, when it happened, who it is, and so on.