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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy aims to approach this weekend differently from 2022

Your Wednesday morning news around the Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

McCarthy ‘regrets’ his approach to Packers in 2022 - Patrik Walker, Dallascowboys.com

Mike McCarthy’s emotions might have gotten the best of him returning to Green Bay in 2022.

In other words, if McCarthy wants to seize everything in 2023, he’ll have to first go through his former team as the leader of a club he knocked out of the playoffs on more than one occasion — as leader of said former team.

McCarthy isn’t leaning into that angle this time around, though.

“The drama of it, I’m sure you guys will love, but I will not participate in it this year,” he said after defeating the Commanders to clinch the NFC East title and No. 2 seed. “It’s playoff time. It doesn’t matter who we play, to be honest with you. … We need to play our best football.

“It doesn’t matter who we play or where we play them. That has to be our mindset.”

That’s fair, but the media and fans can talk about it, so let’s.

It’s truly a perfection of coincidence, or karma, depending upon your belief system but, regardless of which is the actual driver here, you won’t see or hear McCarthy playing up the matchup; and that’s because of the outcome of the previous clash in 2022, when Aaron Rodgers engineered a comeback win at Lambeau Field.

The Cowboys held a firm 28-14 lead in the third quarter before losing 31-28 in overtime.

McCarthy was physically upset following that battle, and it was due to not only the fashion in which the Cowboys lost, but it was also very clearly who’d they lost to — torpedoing McCarthy’s homecoming. He now wonders if his pre-game approach to that matchup did his players a disservice despite, in the moment, his belief that the opposite might’ve been true.

“Last year, I thought it was important for me to talk about Green Bay at the beginning of the week with the team. I regretted it,” McCarthy admitted on Monday. “That doesn’t even need to come into our energy base, but you live and learn. This game is about our commitment. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.

How Does Jerry Jones Feel About Other Teams’ Interest in the Cowboys’ Coaching Staff? - Jess Nevarez, Pro Football Network

Owner Jerry Jones would certainly like to keep the band together in Dallas.

Black Monday has come and gone, but the aftermath has just begun — especially for the Cowboys, whose coaches are generating high interest from other teams.

Multiple reports have stated that numerous teams have asked for permission to interview DC Dan Quinn for potential head coaching opportunities. Teams that have reached out for permission include the Washington Commanders, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Carolina Panthers.

Quinn has been no stranger to this conversation, as he has been a viable candidate for a head coaching position since his tenure in Dallas started in 2021.

The Cowboys’ front office has retained Quinn for the last two offseasons, despite the defensive coordinator taking interviews.

During Jones’ interview, he said Quinn wasn’t the only coach teams had asked permission to speak with, saying, “We’ve had several notices. We don’t have to give permission anymore under most circumstances.”

Jones said he expected “three handfuls” of requests to talk to his coaching staff, estimating around 15 or 20.

He also mentioned that this is common because of the turnover in the NFL right now.

Will McClay, the Cowboys’ Vice President of Player Personnel, is another name coming up in the head coaching conversations. The Dallas Morning News reported that the Commanders and Chargers also requested to speak with McClay.

Dallas Cowboys Dan Quinn Reveals Playoff Message: ‘Herd Gets Thinner, The Strong Move Along!’ - Adam Schultz, Cowboys Nation

Dan Quinn will lean on his playoff experience to prepare his guys for this weekend.

With the regular season over, Quinn is getting his defense into the right frame of mind, and from now on, it’s win or go home ... and Quinn has no intentions of going home.

“They know from this point moving forward, that the herd gets thinner and the strong get to move along,” Quinn said. “That was something we had discussed and this defense is really ready to fight. ...

“From our tackling or running, the ball-hawking and so they know there’s not a switch to flip on, playoffs are here like it’s already on. We’re ready to go get it.”

The Dallas defense has proven throughout the season for its capacity to bear a resemblance to the “Doomsday” defenses of years prior by suffocating opposing offenses, sacking the quarterback and making things extremely difficult for the teams they come up against.

But now, as we enter the playoffs, that counts for nothing - it’s time to do it when the lights are at their brightest.

Quinn - who is about to be a hot candidate for a head coaching job elsewhere (he’s already got requests from Washington and Carolina - has no interest in the “what if” game as the Cowboys have a good draw as the No. 2 seed and if things fall their way, they won’t leave AT&T until the NFC Championship game.

Ezekiel Elliott’s return to Dallas isn’t how Cowboys fans envisioned - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat

Ezekiel Elliott plans to support the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Following their Week 18 loss, Zeke’s Patriots clinched the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Elliott expressed a desire to return to New England in 2024, but the team’s expected to undergo significant turnover in the offseason.

What we do know about Elliott’s future — at least in the short-term — is that he plans to return to Dallas to support his former team.

Elliott didn’t specify if he’d be in town for Sunday’s first-round game against the Packers, but we like to think he’ll be in attendance.

While Elliott didn’t leave on great terms, he’s had nothing but positive things to say about the franchise following his release. He understands the business side of the game. We’d even venture to say he saw the writing on the wall. Regardless, the respect and love between Zeke and the Cowboys in mutual.

When the Patriots visited AT&T Stadium in Week 4, Dallas crafted a special video tribute for Elliott that highlighted his finest moments with the team. The clip culminated when the video board showed a choked up Dak Prescott clapping for Elliott, who returned the gesture with his signature “Feed Me” celebration.

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