‘The Competitive Spirit Is Higher Than I’ve Seen It in 4 Years Here’ – Mike McCarthy on Preparing for Sunday’s Game

Mike McCarthy spoke about the team's preparation for the first game of the regular season and what stands out to him the most about the 2023 Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy briefed the media ahead of the team’s first day of practice in preparation for their Week 1 game against the New York Giants.

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McCarthy was asked about safety Donovan Wilson’s status for the week, and he said Wilson is “getting better.”

“He had a good workout Friday. Saw him working down there Friday and Saturday. But I’m not ready to put a status on him. But he’s close,” said McCarthy.

Mike McCarthy Preparing for Week 1 Against the Giants

The head coach spoke about preparations that go into the week, saying that there would be comparisons in a typical game week, but since this is Week 1, there is reputation based on last season, but it doesn’t mean much.

“The reality of it is, 35 percent of these plays and these first four weeks will be unscouted looks. So, one out of three plays in a game are gonna be probably something different than what we’ve seen on film,” said McCarthy, who explained that the keys to victory are putting basics at the forefront and execution.

But he is fired up for this game and said he knows that a team’s division record usually affects playoff contention later on.

“We’ve had extra time to spend on the Giants. They’ve had the same coordinators come back, so we feel like we have a pretty good beat on what to expect,” said McCarthy, adding that “this is one game we need to go win.”

Setting the Tone Early in the Season

He also discussed the competitive nature of the team right now:

“I think the competitive spirit of the team is higher than I’ve ever seen it in four years here.”

McCarthy went on to say the team hit the standard from last season and has continued to be consistent with it. The team’s efficiency has stood out to him since training camp.

The Role of Cowboys Coordinators

Now that he is calling the plays on offense, McCarthy was asked about delegating work on both sides of the ball.

He said part of a coordinator’s job is to take control of their side of the ball.

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McCarthy was asked if DC Dan Quinn’s previous head coaching experience helps, and he said yes because it comes down to time management and experience working with assistant coaches.

“The No. 1 failure of a coordinator in the National Football League is the management of the assistant coaches, in my opinion,” said McCarthy. He continued that this is something he struggled with in 2000 when he was first starting. He said being the one to have the vision for that side of the ball and break disagreements is something he had to learn.

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