The dust is settling from the latest Dallas Cowboys game, a 38-31 loss on the road to the Seattle Seahawks. It isn’t surprising that Dallas lost to Russell Wilson, but some of the things that they did were very frustrating and have a lot of people looking for answers.
Who better to turn to than the head coach? Mike McCarthy took to the podium on Monday to discuss the latest game and we have put together a recap with everything that he had to say. A reminder that all answers are paraphrases and not exact quotes.
Turnover ratio at this point in the season
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been generating a whole lot of turnovers this season. McCarthy was asked if the ratio as far as turnovers generated to turnovers given up is something that is disappointing and he noted that he obviously wants it to be better.
He said that the Cowboys spend a lot of time on team fundamentals and the emphasis of it all and that being -4 on turnovers through three games is clearly not where they want to be. He said the Cowboys won’t change how they believe they need to play but that they need to do a better job.
Playing from behind so much
McCarthy thought this was a good point. He noted that they have a deep 10-man line rotation on defense and they would like to see what they could do there with a lead. He also hit on deferring the coin toss so they can get a double-double, meaning a score before halftime and a score at the start of the third quarter. He went on to say instead of that happening for Dallas, Seattle got it from the turnovers. He finished by saying turnover ration equates to winning.
Coverage busts and wide open wide receivers
The wide receivers for the Seahawks seemed to have a lot of fun running around the Cowboys secondary and McCarthy said that this is just kind of where they are at right now and that this is something that they need to improve on. He noted that big play opportunities was a focus going into this game, obviously that didn’t fully materialize. He thought they were in good position on the Seahawks first TD with the corner and safety but didn’t follow through.
Terence Steele and players returning from injured reserve
It is Week 4 which means that players placed on injured reserve when the season began are eligible to return. Asked about the status of them McCarthy said he doesn’t anticipate anyone returning, and he added that there is hope that Tyron Smith can do something Wednesday.
He also noted that Terence Steele was dealing with a stomach bug during the team’s trip to Seattle and that played a role in him coming out of the game on Sunday.
McCarthy was also asked if La’el Collins could undergo surgery for his issue and he noted that obviously you always want to avoid that. He did note though that Collins is dealing with something that “obviously is significant.”
DeMarcus Lawrence health
Coach thought he played well when he was in there but that they had to hold him out at the end. He is still waiting to hear a full report from the trainers but doesn’t have a lot of concern.
Offensive line combinations
Zack Martin played right tackle for the Cowboys when Steele was removed from the lineup which obviously dramatically altered the combination of linemen that the Cowboys are used to. McCarthy said he couldn’t answer at this point what the lineup would look like if Tyron Smith does play on Sunday.
Thoughts on the pass rush in Seattle
Coach thought the Cowboys did a good job of what they were asked to do, they had a specific design with their four-man rush to keep Russell Wilson in the pocket. He thought they did well on that and that they were effective with some of their five-man rush.
Trysten Hill questionable play
There has been a lot of public attention put on the tackle that Trysten Hill made on Seattle running back Chris Carson and in the eyes of some it was viewed as a dirty play. McCarthy said that he views the situation as one involving zero intent of injury.
Thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys were trying to involve Ezekiel Elliott in the passing game on Sunday by way of screen pass utilization. McCarthy noted that Seattle was trying to stop the run so they wanted to try to get Zeke the ball in the air. He noted that the production wasn’t what you would like but that he thought it was a tough game for the running back in terms of the amount of focus put on him. He said the Seahawks played a lot 7-man fronts against 1-back personnel, a clear sign they were focused on stopping Zeke.
Evaluating Dak Prescott’s performance
McCarthy noted that he thought Dak had great command and the production speaks for itself. He said that when the result was what it was that you have to talk about the negative plays but he has great command of the offense. He said Dak understands that ball security is important and they need to minimize mistakes.
Injuries at corner
McCarthy said Daryl Worley and Trevon Diggs did some good things in the game and that the communication and the pre-snap reads were better, but that execution wasn’t as good as they need.
Looking for help at safety
While McCarthy was speaking it was reported that free agent safety Earl Thomas is set to work out for the Houston Texans. Asked if he feels the Cowboys should look outward for help he said that he is very comfortable with who the team has at the moment.
Thoughts on Zack Martin
The Cowboys asked a lot of their future Pro Football Hall of Famer in having him switch to right tackle during the game but Martin delivered. McCarthy praised him and said he did a tremendous job.