Mike McCarthy has started his first training camp as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s an unusual start to training camp as the Cowboys aren’t allowed on the field to this point.
McCarthy addressed many things on Friday including his plans for when practices begin, Dak Prescott, Amari Coopers comments and much more. Here are my takeaways.
How he’s handling COVID-19 protocols
McCarthy said that dealing with the protocols has been a very smooth process. “We’ve stayed disciplined in our cleaning protocols,” McCarthy said when asked how the restrictions have been so far. McCarthy also said he’s glad they have the Ford Center for large team meetings. McCarthy said there will be an emphasis on tackling during practice and every practice will begin with fundamentals.
McCarthy plans to practice outside
McCarthy said that the teams first practice in “shells” will be next Friday. He also wants to the team be outside as much as possible and the current plan is to be out there every morning.
Dak Prescott has impressed his new head coach
McCarthy said that Dak did a great job during his time away from the facility. He mentioned that he enjoys being around the quarterback.
As far as on the field, McCarthy said the biggest adjustment Dak will face is the language which he mentioned is an adjustment for everyone. He said Dak has looked “very good” in throwing segments of the strength and conditioning phase.
Ezekiel Elliott will still be very involved
A narrative or question that has developed over the past few days is “will there be enough balls to go around on offense?” When asked about Coopers comments, McCarthy made it clear he loves the way he thinks but also went out of his way to say, “I think you want Zeke to feel the same way. Zeke is a primary target for us.”
McCarthy loves the rookie class
“Having an opportunity to stand in front of my 14th rookie class, this is an impressive one,” McCarthy said when asked about the Cowboys 2020 draft class.
That’s an important statement because there has been a lot of deserved hype around Ceedee Lamb. But you also can’t forget about the rest of the class that includes Trevon Diggs, Bradlee Anae, Neville Gallimore and Reggie Robinson II.
Updates on injuries
Tyrone Crawford and Dontari Poe were placed on the PUP list to begin training camp. McCarthy said that he doesn’t know when they will begin practicing.
Position change updates
Leighton Vander Esch said he would be playing middle linebacker and Jaylon Smith will play the weak side linebacker(WILL) when he spoke with the media earlier in the week. McCarthy said the biggest thing wants with his linebackers is to play match up football and that he doesn’t think it’s a huge position change.
It is still not clear on what position Chidobe Awuzie will play in 2020. McCarthy didn’t give a solid answer when asked on Friday saying he wants flexibility in secondary. Awuzie, Daryl Worley and Robinson II are all corners that could spend some time at safety.
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