Skip to main content

Offseason | 2021

10 Takeaways From McCarthy's Press Conference


FRISCO, Texas - For the first time since the 2020 NFL season officially came to a close, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy held a press conference on Thursday covering a variety of topics. Over the coming days, will have plenty of stories, shows, and analysis breaking down what McCarthy had to say, but below are some of the most notable moments from the press conference.

  • McCarthy claimed that it won't be a "start over" situation with the defense under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and said that the focus should be less about 4-3 versus 3-4. The emphasis should be placed on "technique" and fitting a system to your players, he said. McCarthy used the word "multiple" to describe the plan for the defensive scheme.
  • In retrospect, "We tried to change too much on defense," last season according to McCarthy. He didn't assign blame on any one person, but said that he has a lot of work to do.
  • The Cowboys head coach was in Florida when the Dak Prescott contract was made official. He claimed "It's easier to do cartwheels in the sand" and called Prescott "the key stone of this football team."
  • Starting tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are set to return in 2021 and McCarthy said that he has seen them both on the field and that they look good and that he "doesn't expect any setbacks" with either of them. He said that Collins was working on his conditioning with Prescott at The Star on Thursday morning.
  • Despite reports that the team will not re-sign Aldon Smith, McCarthy said that the situation is "still fluid" and that he personally has not moved on from the possibility of retaining him.
  • Newly signed defensive player Keanu Neal will start training camp working with the linebackers but is an option at safety if needed.
  • Tyrone Crawford told McCarthty that he is retiring. Sean Lee has yet to decide on his future.
  • The Cowboys are hopeful to return to Oxnard, Calif. for training camp. McCarthy was scheduled to visit the team's training camp facility last year but the trip was cancelled due to Covid-19. But McCarthy said he plans to visit Oxnard in the near future to scope out the practice fields and the layout, in anticipation of the team traveling again to camp.
  • McCarthy anticipates a "very competitive situation" with the interior offensive line, while avoiding stating projected starters.
  • The team has talked to "veteran quarterbacks" to potentially sign as a backup to Prescott. McCarthy also stated that "competition" at quarterback is still important for the team, even in the wake of Prescott's contract.

Related Content