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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy still trying to explain what went wrong

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Teaching Moment For Final Play: Less Is More - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

Mike McCarthy had his end of season press conference and the Cowboys coach wasn’t backing down in his support of the final controversial play call.

“I mean, yeah, it’s really probably the only play I looked at,” McCarthy said. “Talked with John Fassel as part of our game situation crew and Kellen [Moore]. When you’re looking at a normal clock play, 16 seconds is the threshold, but then there is the tight clock play situation which we were in. And when you’re trying to go from a different, the 40, 45-yard throw for the final play, because we’re in the last two play sequence. This is how we train it. This is how we rep it every Friday and Saturday.”

McCarthy said the Cowboys had enough time to execute the play, but looking back, he would probably change how far Dak ran, which ended up being 17 yards.

“But as far as the draw play, the execution, the only thing Dak and I talked about was put a yard limit on it,” McCarthy said. “Cut it to 10 yards. That’s probably going to be the change, the adjustment we make.”

McCarthy did try to squash the notion that the players aren’t allowed to spot the ball, something that has been debated heavily over the last few days. While the official must touch the ball before it’s snapped, the players themselves can at least spot the ball.

“The center can spot the ball. The receiver can spot the ball,” McCarthy said. “So, the fact that the opinion of you can’t spot the ball is not correct. So, the center can spot the ball. Our guys are trained to spot the ball exactly how the referee spots the ball. You put the tip on the inside edge of the hash, and obviously the umpire has to come in and all he has to do is touch it. We’re in a three-two-one situation, just snap the ball. Obviously that didn’t happen right there at that point. As far as the training of Dak getting the ball to Tyler [Biadasz], Tyler getting it down on the hash mark, that part was intact. Obviously we got to factor in what happened there at the end of that play.”

Mike McCarthy on Cowboys’ 2022 outlook: ‘We’re not here to go backwards’ - Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report

The Cowboys were as healthy and talented as any roster in the NFL Playoffs. That considered, they massively underperformed, resulting in the end of their season. But with so many free agents and so little cap space available, Mike McCarthy’s claim of being even better next year should attract a fair bit of examination.

“We’re not here to go backwards,” he told reporters Wednesday.

The Cowboys went 12-5 with an NFC East title before suffering a 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round. It’s still not enough to shake the coach’s confidence going forward.

“We’re going to be better [in 2022],” McCarthy added.

While long-term success is never guaranteed in the NFL, the Cowboys are in better shape than last year at this time after locking up Dak Prescott on a long-term deal. Key players on both sides of the ball have already signed extensions, including Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and DeMarcus Lawrence.

Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and CeeDee Lamb are all still on their rookie contracts and could continue to improve next season.

This professional opinion on Ezekiel Elliott’s injury is highly concerning - Kenneath Teape, NFL Analysis.net

Ezekiel Elliott played most of the season with a torn PCL in his knee. Unsurprisingly, his production dropped off a cliff and he averaged just a little under 3.5 yards per carry the rest of the season. But while Elliott and McCarthy contend the injury wasn’t going to get any worse by playing and won’t require surgery, one medical expert weighing in suggests the injury may serve as a red flag for the star running back moving forward.

Elliott has battled some nagging injuries that have visibly sapped some of his athleticism and explosiveness. According to a veteran sports orthopedic, that could be how things are for Elliott for the foreseeable future with the Cowboys.

2022 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper mock draft has the Dallas Cowboys improving at edge rusher in round one - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys

Is it too early for a mock draft? Probably not since the offseason began earlier than expected for a Cowboys team facing some big financial decisions this summer. Acquiring a highly talented rookie defensive end in Travon Walker would be a great way to create some flexibility with regard to other big-dollar talents, be they currently paid or about to be paid, along the defensive line.

24 Dallas Cowboys

Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Dallas had a disappointing playoff exit, but it still has a lot of young talent, led by do-it-all rookie linebacker Micah Parsons. The organization, however, has looming decisions on several free agents, including Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Connor Williams, Leighton Vander Esch and Jayron Kearse. That means we’re going to know in March who the Cowboys have prioritized as guys to bring back and which positions will actually be needs by the time the draft rolls around in late April. Every team covets edge rushers, though.

Walker, whom McShay recently called “one of the most underrated prospects in the class,” stands out every time I watch the loaded Georgia defense. He can blow up tackles at the point of attack, and he has the physical traits to chase down ball carriers in the run game. At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, he has some scheme versatility at the next level.

Updates: Moore, Dan Quinn Interview With Broncos - Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn still have a series of interviews for head coaching positions around the league. The team at DallasCowboys.com has the latest.

8 a.m. – Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn interviewed separately for Denver’s head coaching vacancy on Tuesday, the Broncos announced.

That’s the first known head-coaching interview for Quinn and the second for Moore, who also had a virtual visit with the Jaguars. More teams have requested to speak with both coaches for a heading coach role, including the Vikings and Dolphins, according to NFL Media and reports.

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