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Mailbag: McCarthy's Impact On Coverage?


I remember watching Training Camp Live (which was awesome) along with all the other platforms the Cowboys have and wondering: do other teams check out what the Cowboys are up to? With all the changes to the coaching staff, has anyone gotten a sense that this staff will be as "open" to the media as the previous regime, or will they play things closer to the vest? — JEREMY BRAGG / DALLAS, TX

Rob: Jeremy, I'll be perfectly honest with you: your guess is as good as mine. We've been working remotely for the last few months, just like the team, so we haven't really gotten a feel for how Mike McCarthy likes to do things. I'm also not sure what media access will look like once training camp gets underway. Those are matters that the league is working through, no doubt. We'll obviously continue to cover the team as best we can. It's a good question because you're right: there's a little bit of mystery right now as to how the offense and defense will look with a new staff. Could be an advantage when the games start.

David: It's always fun to find the line that the coaching staff doesn't want you to cross. It was a balancing act when Jason Garrett was the coach, and I'm sure it'll be the same with Mike McCarthy. It's a shame we haven't had much of an opportunity to work with him yet, and I'm guessing COVID-19 is going to change a lot about the way we cover his first season. It's just something we'll all have to figure out as we go.

Why does the media continually give Robert Quinn more credit than he deserves? He was horrible against the run and it hurt us badly several times last year. He literally runs straight upfield in pass rush mode on every play and never ran stunts – regardless if it was a pass or a run. His deficiency in the run game cancels out most of the value he brought through his 10 sacks. Tyrone Crawford is a much better edge/DE than Quinn. He is right there pressuring the QB on most pass plays and is a very good run defender. — CHET HORTON / BUCKLEY, WV

Rob: I'm not going to argue with you about Tyrone Crawford. I said and wrote repeatedly last year that they missed his versatility and leadership on defense. He does a great job of setting the edge against the run, no doubt. But I'm also not going to minimize Quinn's 11.5 sacks last year. Watch his tape. He was relentless rushing down after down. Now that he's in Chicago, the Cowboys have to piece his production together. That's no easy task, but that's why they went out and signed Aldon Smith.

David: I hope Tyrone reads this. It's refreshing to see a fan stand up for him instead of trying to find a way to cut him. Still, I think you might be minimizing Quinn's impact a bit. It's true that he wasn't great against the run, but he was also able to reliably get to the quarterback. There's a lot of reasons to be intrigued by this year's pass rush, but I'd feel a lot better if Quinn was part of it.

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