The Cowboys are going to try and get right in Week 4 with a victory to even their record. Coach Mike McCarthy meets with the press to discuss how the Cowboys will do that. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Points given up over the last two games
The Cowboys have given up 77 points over the last two games. McCarthy said that the starting field position is a big driver of that and that the team being -4 in turnover ratio is an issue. He said winning over the season is tied to turnover ratio and starting field position is a big result of that. The second thing was the big plays given up and McCarthy noted they looked at those things in their self-scouting sessions.
Status of Tyron Smith
McCarthy siad that Tyron Smith will be limited in Wednesday’s practice and that he is still not all the way clear for full contact. He expects him to try some individual drills. He also noted that with a right-handed QB having Smith at left tackle is very important for the team. He also emphasized that offensive line continuity is a huge deal.
Time spent on ball security in practice
Coach noted that taking care of the football and taking the ball away involve specific techniques. He noted that the Cowboys had the highest number of examples of excellent ball carrying in a tape that they watched together. He specifically cited some efforts by Cedrick Wilson and Michael Gallup protecting the ball in certain situations during the game. He also noted that the defense was using good rake and punch techniques to try and get the ball out but it just didn’t happen. He ended by lauding the play Trevon Diggs made to dislodge the football.
Status of La’el Collins
Asked about the status of La’el Collins, McCarthy noted that the Cowboys have had to work different combinations along the offensive line without him and that they are obviously prepared to do so. He noted that they can’t control when players are injured and that they can only control preparation for playing games with the players that are healthy.
Jaylon Smith’s performance so far
Coach said that Smith plays a position of higher responsibility because of the communication element, He said he loves Smith’s energy and that defensive coaches have really connected with him. He said that they were much better in pre-snap reads and alignment against Seattle but that execution was not up to what the standards are for the team. He emphasized that QB movement was big issue in Seattle and that they added a team period in practice to address it, they expect Cleveland to try some of the similar things in that area.
Communication in the secondary
McCarthy said communication is the root of defense success or failure, and that it’s more about the recognition of route concepts. He conceded that with a new scheme they expected some bumps in the road. He said unfortunately the mistakes have produced points. He said they need to learn from it. He then pivoted to the fact that playing a team once every four years is tricky because they have so much new personnel and that the coaches have to spend time on video looking at the new personnel. He said they were fortunate to have two coaches that coached in Cleveland last year so the have some information.
CeeDee Lamb not on the field for the last few plays
The Cowboys rookie was not on the field for the last few plays last week. McCarthy noted that Lamb has seen a high volume of work and that he thinks CeeDee was “a little affected” during the game as a result of it. He noted that they leaned on the rest of their wide receivers and that Dak Prescott has confidence in all of their game day receivers. When asked if Lamb would practice today he said that Lamb would.