FRISCO, Texas – Everything has been unique about this football season. Whether it has been zero to few fans in the stadium, to expanded rosters to the tweaked rules, to players getting tested every day to coaches wearing masks on the sidelines.
Though it all, the one constant for the first three weeks has been the games being played on time.
That will change this week, at least for two teams as the NFL has postponed the Steelers-Titans game after three players, and five other staff members for Tennessee tested positive for Covid-19.
While the NFL initially stated the game would be postponed to Monday or Tuesday of next week, keeping it in the Week 4 schedule, it has now been reported the game will be moved to another week after the Titans reported more positive tests among the team.
The Titans' opponent last Sunday – the Vikings – have not reported any positive tests so far.
While it's only common for the news to travel throughout the rest of the NFL and probably become a hot topic discussed among players and coaches.
But the Cowboys players who met with the media on Wednesday all reiterated that Covid-19 has been, and will continue to be, a concern amongst the players, with or without a game being postponed around the league. "
I don't think ever in this building that (Covid-19) conversation hasn't been on the forefront," Ezekiel Elliott said on a conference call. "We know every day the challenges we battle with with Covid. We have to do things the right way. We have to wear our masks, wear our contact tracers, we have to get that Covid test every day. I think it's hard not to have it in the forefront of conversations when everything has been affected by it."
Head coach Mike McCarthy applauded the NFL for its efforts to even communicate and spread awareness regarding the situation and how to handle it.
"I would say the league has done a tremendous job of communicating constantly about the challenge of COVID, the reminders, the protocols are working," McCarthy said. "I think it's like anything, you have to really enforce everything you do to treat this challenge with regulation. We spend an enormous amount of time, frankly too much time, today in the team meeting going over it, going back over it, and some of the things that we can do better. This is a moving target, still. I would say that I'm proud of what we accomplished so far. The protocols and the systems they have in place are giving us the best chance to win this challenge. But it's a constant focus."
Defensive tackle Dontari Poe said he was surprised by the Titans-Steelers situation because of how strict the policies have been around the NFL.
"It's kind of shocking because us as a team I feel like have been doing a great job and everybody with the league has been held to the same standard," Poe said. "So I mean it's kind of weird it happened like that because how tight they are around here you'd think it wouldn't happen. But at the same time we just doing what we need to do, do the same as we've been doing: Keeping knowing our connections, keep our mask on daily, get tested daily. It's pretty much the same for us."
Receiver Michael Gallup said the players have discussed how important it is to be safe, especially outside of the complex.
"You just got to keep doing what you're supposed to be doing. Hopefully you don't run into something outside these walls," Gallup said. "We're all pro athletes here so if we don't need to be in something don't go there. That's just what it is. Make sure you're figure out who you're coming in contact with. Obviously it says a lot who you talk to, who you hang out with, so you do have to be careful."
Don't miss the chance to see the Cowboys when they return to AT&T Stadium on October 4th to take on the Cleveland Browns. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Click here to find tickets.
Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at www.DallasCowboys.com/safestadium.