FRISCO, TX — Mike McCarthy didn't feel well on Wednesday morning and, according to others in the building, the Dallas Cowboys' head coach looked as if he might need medical attention as he attempted to fight through severe abdominal pain. He'd undergo evaluation that brought about the discovery of acute appendicitis, and he was immediately scheduled to undergo surgery.
As it stands, the appendectomy isn't expected to keep McCarthy from being available to coach the Cowboys when the Philadelphia Eagles visit on Sunday, a point driven home by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
"You think that tough Irishman is gonna miss this game?" said Quinn, who also voiced confidence in the team's process and plan in the unlikely event McCarthy is absent.
His sentiments were echoed by special teams coordinator John "Bones" Fassel who, along with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, conducted practice on Wednesday.
"There wasn't much warning," said Fassel. "It was like, 'Here you go. You've got it.' [Practice] was already scripted, like Dan Quinn talked about [following the news]. We just followed along with the plan that was already in motion, and we've got good bodies that can pick it up and keep it going. But it's different, and you miss your head coach, for sure."
Speaking from the perspective of one of the locker room leaders, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence wants McCarthy to focus on healing — knowing the team has his back no matter what.
"We're definitely praying for him to get back healthy as soon as possible," said the Pro Bowl pass rusher. "He knows we're getting ready and we'll be ready. … Once the meetings started, Bones alerted us to what's going on, but we all go through something in life and being able to have a squad behind you that's gonna prepare and make things flow as usual, that's what you want and that's what we have in our guys.
"… Mike has built a great structure around here. … We understand what comes with this week. The Eagles are coming to town and we're locked in — ready to have fun."
Micah Parsons is in lockstep with Lawrence's statement.
"Coach Mike's energy is very contagious, and this is an extremely rare circumstance," said the All-Pro linebacker. He hasn't missed anything ever. This is for him to be available for the long run. Take care of your business now and I'll see you later."
It's unlikely McCarthy is unavailable against the Eagles, barring a setback in his recovery this week, but the Cowboys have a plan of succession in place and all are confident they can get the job done — either with McCarthy or for him.