FRISCO, Texas – The NFL season is over halfway complete, and so far the Cowboys have appeared to avoid significant challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic despite veterans Andy Dalton and Tyrone Crawford going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in the last two weeks.
But Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones' message is clear.
"Everybody's emphasizing, 'Don't let your guard down,'" Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "Don't let your guard down because tomorrow all that could change, and that's a fact. Don't let me think for one second that we've got the key how to not have this COVID outbreak. We don't. But the things we're doing are working there."
The Cowboys have been in the NFL's intensive protocol since a Pittsburgh Steelers player tested positive for the virus last Monday, the day after the teams played at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys worked virtually last week and canceled last Wednesday's practice before taking the bye weekend off.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team returned to The Star on Monday for meetings and a 'mock game' walkthrough practice – Dalton was cleared for that – while also adhering to the intensive protocol requirements. That includes larger meeting spaces for social distancing purposes.
In addition to the league's intensive protocol, Jones said the team is "stepping it up" regarding its own precautionary measures moving forward.
"What we're doing is stepping it up as a team and we're stepping (up) the isolation," Jones said. "…We've reduced the number of people around the players. We've maximized the protocol as far as their testing and their awareness of who they've been around. And we're going in a more intense way. We're having our coaches restrict their activities away from the field and restrict their contacts away from the field. We're having all staff that touch a player do that. That's in addition to what the NFL is doing."