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Mailbag: Is McCarthy hiding red-zone potential?


Is there any chance that Mike McCarthy is hiding the full potential of this offense and its red-zone capabilities to ensure that San Francisco does not have ample opportunity to plan a strategical defense? After all, you can't prepare for something you don't have tape on. – Rob Paro/Jefferson City, MO

Nick Eatman: I would hope not. If he was hiding any plays, they could've been used in Arizona. I'm sure there are plays that they haven't used yet, but that's just because the entire playbook isn't always installed from the start. There will be new wrinkles that should be revealed as the season goes on, but that's standard. It's not about hiding them or saving them for "big" games. It's just that they haven't been used yet and also haven't been practiced enough during the week. But I would think saving plays for down the road is out the window when you lose to Arizona. That should let everyone know that you can get beat at any moment.

Patrik: I think McCarthy smartly plays it all by ear. He's trying to win the game that's in front of him at the moment, but he definitely hopes the Cowboys jump out to a massive lead that can allow him to shut down a part of his playbook to avoid unnecessarily showing something to whomever they play the following week and/or in the weeks to come. In looking at the dismantling of the Giants, Jets and Patriots, there was no reason for McCarthy to dig deep into his bag, and he undoubtedly appreciates that. He was absent three OL starters against the Cardinals and it caused a "slight overreaction" by him in shutting down a portion of the playbook as well. It all worked out that the world still doesn't quite know what's hiding in McCarthy's bag of tricks going into Week 5, but I suspect we're all about to find out — seeing as this will probably be a dogfight that requires the Cowboys offense to put plenty of points on the board.

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