The Cowboys have one practice in the books, but aren’t practicing today. Instead, we’ll just have to settle for a Mike McCarthy press conference. Here is a rundown of what he had to say. (All answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).
Impressions of Dak
Coach McCarthy said he had a strong first impression. He noted that one of the biggest challenges early on is at the line of scrimmage, timing, cadence, etc. He thought it was important for Dak to get to that in real-time and he also said he made some big-time throws.
Tyron Smith, La’el Collins
Coach thought that they looked great and that they both had looked good in rehab. When it was noted Tyron had a little more work yesterday than Collins, coach said don’t read too much into that, Collins is just being brought along a little slower.
Francis Bernard injury
Coach said it was a hamstring injury and that they have no timeline yet for his return.
What it would take to know Dak is fully back
McCarthy said he looks no different today than he did in training camp last year and that's a consistent comparable. He noted that padded practices will be a threshold to get over but that he watched him closely yesterday and he never flinched. He also said that when he plays in preseason games that will be another threshold.
Playing in preseason games for Dak
Coach thinks it’s important for veterans to play but that young players need the reps, too. Roster competition is the most important thing about preseason games according to McCarthy. When pressed further about Dak playing in the preseason, he said he anticipates Dak playing in the preseason.
Secondary active in first practice
Coach acknowledged the secondary making plays and that Trevon Diggs looked great yesterday. He discussed how it’s been a huge emphasis in adding defensive perimeter players that make plays on the ball, it’s been part of their scouting for rookies and free agent additions. He said that has been consistent this offseason and is who they should be on defense.
Coach said they might have held him back by changing his position last year and that Robinson prefers to play corner. He thought he is coming along and that he would get his opportunities to carve out a role.
Micah Parsons’ versatility
McCarthy thought they did too much with him yesterday and that his volume was off the charts. He noted that speaks to his talent and that they are trying to work him in different combinations. He said they don’t want to spread him too thin but he is unique in that he can make plays in space but is also powerful. He is excited to see him in pads.
McCarthy praised his excellent offseason. Said he was one of the top guys in weight gain and strength, and that they need to get him to play with patience and confidence. He thought that would come with opportunities and success on the field.