FRISCO, Texas – Head coach Mike McCarthy met with reporters on Friday during a virtual press conference from The Star inside Ford Center.
It was his first press conference since the team got back in the building and the coach discussed a wide range of issues from when practice actually begins, to possible position changes and much more.
Here are some of the quick highlights:
- McCarthy said he is excited about Dak Prescott and the entire quarterback room, especially with Andy Dalton and his experience. He said the "biggest adjustment for Dak is the language (terminology), which is an adjustment for us. I'm very pleased with where he is and I'm very impressed."
- Because of the uncertainty that is constant surrounding the preparation of camp and the season, McCarthy said they've had "six or seven" different contingency plans as they try to guess how things would unfold. McCarthy said he's been "dead wrong" about a few different scenarios but credited the support staff for making things run "as smooth as possible." [Related: McCarthy Outlines Plans For Start Of Practice]
- When asked if Chido Awuzie would be playing cornerback or moving to safety, McCarthy didn't give a solid answer, only stating that he wants flexibility in the secondary. It sounds like Awuzie might be one of a few corners who could be tried at different spots. There has been speculation on veteran Daryl Worley possibly playing some safety and perhaps even rookie Reggie Robinson II.
- While Leighton Vander Esch said earlier this week that he expects to play middle linebacker and Jaylon Smith would be the WILL (weak side linebacker), McCarthy said "I don't think it's a huge position change." He said the biggest emphasis with the linebackers is to play "matchup football." Even Vander Esch said the two spots are very interchangeable.
- Without having preseason games, McCarthy said there will be a change in the emphasis placed on tackling in practice. In fact, he said all practices will have an element of fundamentals at the beginning, and tackling will be included. He didn't say how much "full-contact" sessions he would have.
- Because of the new protocols with social distancing inside the building, McCarthy said it is a luxury to have Ford Center, not only for weather contingencies but also for team meetings. The 12,000-seat indoor facility is where the players sit for the entire team meetings, using one side of the stands.
- With Jamize Olawale deciding to opt out and miss the entire 2020 season, McCarthy was asked about the fullback position. He said "the fullback and tight end positions … I've always lumped together when you're building" the scheme. With that being said, look for newly-signed tight end Blake Bell to possibly work in some H-back roles.
- When asked about the Cowboys' plans in term of protests for racial equality, McCarthy said the team has yet to have those discussions. He added that he's taken a "hard look at the blind spots I might have in my life." McCarthy said it's a time for listening and the Cowboys would "support our players."
- Earlier this week, Randy Gregory expressed his frustration with the NFL for not being reinstated just yet. McCarthy said he hasn't heard anything from the team or the league regarding Gregory's status.
- McCarthy also said he didn't have an update on both Tyrone Crawford and Dontari Poe, who have been placed on Active/PUP. They won't be able to start training camp practices until they are removed from the list. But they are counting on the official roster.