FRISCO, Texas – What's one more hurdle to overcome in a season of non-stop adversity?
Fresh off their Week 12 loss to Washington on Thursday evening, the Cowboys are seeing their schedule drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time this year, as next week's Thursday night game against Baltimore has now been moved to Monday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. CT.
The Ravens are currently dealing with an ongoing outbreak of the virus on their roster, which prompted their division game against Pittsburgh to be moved off of Thanksgiving. The game was initially re-scheduled for Sunday, but with the team still facing positive tests, the NFL has moved it to Tuesday night.
Obviously, this is a bit of a schedule change for the Cowboys. Initially, this was going to be a seven-day work week, with back-to-back Thursday games against Washington and Baltimore.
Instead, the team is now essentially on a mini-bye week, with a six-day schedule after that ahead of a Monday night game.
The schedule change had not yet happened when Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy spoke to reporters on Friday, but he was asked about the possibility of the game moving. In the event that it happened, McCarthy said he'd likely give his players some additional time off.
Given the tragic circumstances of the untimely death of strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul, it's an easily understandable decision.
"If we did move to Sunday, I wouldn't anticipate us going into a normal seven-day week where I would just treat this weekend and probably Monday, Tuesday like a bye week. I think our team could use that," McCarthy said.
The Ravens have had a series of positive tests throughout the week, prompting their game against the Steelers to be moved. Most notably, Baltimore quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson tested positive on Wednesday – which could put his status in question for the Ravens' game against the Cowboys, in addition to the division matchup against Pittsburgh.
That's an issue that will be resolved as next week goes along. As with every other facet of this unpredictable year, it's worth noting that there's still plenty of time for things to change.
With that in mind, McCarthy's final thought on the issue was perfect – not just for this situation, but for the year as a whole.
"I have no idea what's going to happen," he said.