FRISCO, Texas – Mike McCarthy can't return to the facility just yet, but the Cowboys are optimistic their head coach will be back in the building by the end of the week.
"We just think it's normally just like it is with players, we're looking at the 10 days," said team chief operating officer Stephen Jones on Monday morning. "Probably looking at getting him back on a Thursday. Don't think it'll usually be before, it rarely is."
It's a bit jarring to think that it's only been a week since McCarthy tested positive for COVID-19. The news came as the Cowboys were already well into their preparation for the Thursday night game in New Orleans, coming off a dramatic overtime loss on Thanksgiving.
With all the twists and turns of a wild November, that feels like a lifetime ago. But it is true that McCarthy still has a few more days of testing to clear the NFL's protocols for return.
Asked about it on Friday, McCarthy said he wasn't sure of a specific timeline, but added that he didn't enjoy having to watch the 27-17 win against the Saints remotely.
"This is not the way you want to spend any of these 17 opportunities that you're guaranteed," he said. "It was difficult. I'm proud of the team. I'm looking forward to getting back to work in person."
As for the team itself, the Cowboys returned to work Monday morning after an extended weekend off, as they begin preparing for a division matchup against Washington.
Until he's cleared to come back, it sounds like they can expect to have McCarthy there every step of the way, as he was last week.
"Certainly, he's doing all his work and getting the team prepared and we know he'd love to be there, hands on," Jones said. "But at the same time, he does a great job Zooming in and getting his staff prepared."