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Here's how the Cowboys built team chemistry under Mike McCarthy

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Oxnard, Calif. — Mike McCarthy finally got to know Dak Prescott over iced tea two years ago.

He became head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in January 2020, and two months later the world stopped. He wasn’t able to get the team on the field to actually train until July.In 4.5 games in what would be one of the highest octane offenses in the league, Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury and will be out this year. all hopes of were dashed.

McCarthy had acquired late-career Brett Favre and early-career Aaron Rodgers. Now that he had his best career Prescott during the pandemic, there was no decent way to get to know him, so he waited at the loading dock at the team facility for a ride from his rehab appointment. When he saw his quarterback on crutches, he told Prescott to jump in. In the moment of our first real acquaintance off the football field.

Now in the third year of McCarthy’s administration in Dallas, everyone knows each other. In a sit-down interview with CBS Sports, McCarthy said the team “really came a long way last year” as the Cowboys had the highest-scoring offense and top-seven scoring defense in the league. But these Cowboys aren’t playing for his NFC East Division title his banner.

McCarthy has pressure. All jobs in the NFL have pressure, but Dallas he being the Cowboys’ head coach is a different kind of pressure.

“Let’s be clear, he wouldn’t be sitting here today if he didn’t think he was the guy who would lead this team to the Super Bowl,” Camp. “He won’t, and I have a choice.”

Jones, on the other hand, seems to enjoy publicly squeezing head coaches at times. That means that the sword of Damocles is always overhead.

“Pressure is a blessing,” says McCarthy, borrowing Billie Jean King’s saying, “Pressure is a privilege.”

“It’s a blessing to have the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with,” he continues. That’s why I really enjoy camp because it’s a pure football space that you can be in and it’s not…not only is the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, but we I’m on a different level than the other players.”

architectural chemistry

Prescott has invited many of his offensive teammates to Miami to grind this offseason. From Ezekiel Elliott to Sheedy Lamb to rookie wideout Jalen Tolbert and more, the group worked out and bonded on boats in South Florida.

This time was crucial for Prescott’s undoubtedly top target, Ram, a third-year receiver looking to finally have a full offseason and preseason at quarterback after a season of 1,102 receiving yards. is. The first was the aforementioned COVID year when Lamb was adjusting to the league as a rookie. The second is Prescott suffered a muscle strain in his back/shoulder early in camp that interfered with the chemistry.

“Oh, I have to say[the chemistry]is a lot better than it was in the first two years,” Lamb told CBS Sports. “I feel like this offseason has made it more of a priority to clear the chemistry between the two of us. Or literally anything… QB1, we’re just moving together to wide receiver 1, we’re just learning, so now training camp definitely seems to be a step further than it was in the first few years. I feel like

Prescott has worked on his pitching mechanics this offseason by generating more torque from his lower body. As a result, the momentum of the ball increased. This is why Ram sped up his JUGS his machine. He wants to practice with an even hotter ball than what Prescott offers.

Critical to this team’s offensive success is the connection between Prescott and Lamb. Amari Cooper in Cleveland, Cedric Wilson Jr. in Miami and Michael Gallup not ready to open the season. But Lam says he feels no pressure.

“No. I’m going to go out and yes the team will hold me accountable but I mean I’m going to put some pressure on myself so I go out and do what I have to do and I’ll handle the rest myself.”

The rest may be handled naturally, but McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will have to find a way to make sure that it doesn’t all depend on fate.

“We’re very aware of that based on the changes we’ve made to personnel, especially earlier this year and the bright light coming to CeeDee. Defensively. It’s something we have to stay very conscientious about and it’s all part of the plan. That’s how we go about it.

“But CeeDee was ready for this opportunity, so he was ready, and the flexibility that we have in our system and his ability to play multiple positions in the receiver area is what makes him stand out. will be a big part of our success.”

turn a negative into a positive

When the Cowboys arrived at Oxnard, mental conditioning consultant Chad Bowling gave the players a look at footage from the playoff loss to the Niners. It wasn’t a game tape. Bowling showed the team’s press conference with Prescott and Elliott following the 23–17 loss.

The players were reminded of their heartbreak from last season, and encouraged to look positively at those negative moments and move forward. McCarthy has no interest in burying the past.

Remember how the Dallas season ended? Six down with 14 seconds remaining, Prescott took off his 17 yards past midfield before sliding. With no timeouts left and the Cowboys rushing to get ready to spike the ball, the game is over.

“There isn’t a day that doesn’t emphasize football in some way, the last play of the game, the last three plays of the game, situational football,” McCarthy tells me. “We all do it. It’s football. It’s part of the team’s training, we understand that, but we all have about the same amount of time, and we spend a little more time in that area than we normally do, and I I’m pretty sure that will happen. Settlement.”

In Saturday’s practice, McCarthy put his team’s drill into the red zone and end-of-game scenario. Ball at the 25-yard line, he had 49 seconds on the clock, and one timeout. Prescott only needed about half the time to hit James Washington, who entered the soft spot between cornerback Trevon Diggs and safety Donovan Wilson for a touchdown.

Leave time out and take the cannoli.

The Cowboys have staff continuity. they have good health. they have a roster They definitely have a quarterback. And they have clear expectations from owners who “need” to acquire another Lombardi.

“Well, the biggest thing is, I don’t think anyone has higher expectations than us for what we want to achieve this year,” McCarthy says. “So we understand what it’s like to work for the Dallas Cowboys, and it’s all part of our job responsibilities.”

Blessings of pressure.


  • The Cowboys are yet to reveal Micah Parsons’ true plans. From what I saw, he was working with the linebackers on Saturday, but the Defensive Rookie of the Year could soon line up there or on the edge. I think the thing is to make sure that he creates opportunities to be dynamic, whether it’s off-the-ball or on-ball, I think Dunn is. [Quinn] And the defensive staff did a great job in his first year, creating targeted challenges for the offense. Looking back on this year, I think it’s probably a little more about how well we do each thing rather than what we do. The attention he gets will make other players around him better.”
  • It’s still weeks away from NFL teams competing in joint practices, but I think the rise of these joint practices makes a lot of sense. To do. The Cowboys will have a pre-exhibition practice with the Broncos on August 11, followed by two joint practices with the Chargers on August 17-18. The preseason schedule swung like that, and luckily they took several teams West in those two weeks. . “To be honest, I just look at all the mechanics involved. Both teams are on the grass, to be honest. Just looking at all the characteristics, the intangibles involved in making this decision, I feel confident working with Nathaniel [Hackett] and Brandon [Staley] And we want the same. “
  • Maybe what Will Greer needed was a change of scenery. His previous 3rd round pick with the Panthers is behind Cooper Rush on the Dallas depth charts, but could back up his spot with a strong preseason that gets him many snaps in the exhibition. increase. In practice in the team’s red zone, he had a great touch with a touchdown pass from the corner of the end zone to Simi Fehoko.