FRISCO, Texas — Following Sunday's ugly loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys have had a few days to look at the film and fully evaluate what went wrong in one of the more stunning losses that the team has had under head coach Mike McCarthy.
In that evaluation, McCarthy identified three areas of concern from Sunday's loss with the team on Wednesday morning that they will look to correct in practice this week and in the team's next game against New England this upcoming Sunday.
"As I told the team today, three games in, stats clearly don't tell the story, but they give you the things you need to look at, and we have three blinking lights as a football team right now," McCarthy said. "Team penalties, red zone offense and run defense."
Penalties affected all three phases of the game on Sunday as the Cowboys had 13 accepted infractions for a total of 107 penalty yards. In run defense, the 181 yards given up on the ground in the first half were the most for the franchise since 1991.
And while the red zone offense had been a slight concern in the first two games, the caution was amplified after the Cowboys scored just 13 points on five trips to the red zone in the loss to Arizona.
"The reality of the red zone is we have to look at all of the numbers," McCarthy said. "I think clearly, the fact we've been down there 15 times is the best in the National Football League. In my experience, that has been the hard part. Clearly, the stat we're all talking about is the touchdown conversions, the efficiency. We need to clearly be better in that."
Moving forward, the challenge of correcting those issues is amplified with Bill Belichick and his squad coming into town looking to give Mike McCarthy his first two-game losing streak since 2021.
"They've been highlighted, they've been coached," he said. "But we are on to the plan to beat New England. That's where our focus is. This is an excellent, excellent challenge. It's different than the challenge we had this past Sunday."