Why isn’t Mike McCarthy coaching tonight? Cowboys head coach out with COVID-19

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will not be on the sideline for Thursday Night Football tonight due to COVID-19.

When the Dallas Cowboys take on the New Orleans Saints during Week 13’s Thursday Night Football, the sideline will look quite different. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will not be coaching tonight after being placed on the NFL’s COVID-19 list. On Monday, Nov. 29, it was reported that the Cowboys head coach had tested positive and was displaying mild symptoms.

Why isn’t Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy coaching tonight?

Due to McCarthy not only testing positive for COVID-19 but also displaying symptoms, he is out for Week 13. The Cowboys head coach cannot join the rest of his team for Thursday Night Football. Had McCarthy been asymptomatic, he could have potentially coached on Thursday night since he is vaccinated.

McCarthy openly discussed back in July that he had decided to get vaccinated. This came even before the NFL released a memo saying that their Tier 1 and 2 employees (excluding players) would be expected to be vaccinated unless they had a bona fide medical or religious ground for not doing so.

According to Dallas reporter Michael Gehlken, Dallas’ head coach was actually scheduled to get his vaccine booster shot the Friday after finding out he was positive.

He is the 11th head coach since March 2020 known to have caught COVID-19. He’s also now the fourth head coach who’ll have missed a regular-season or playoff game. The other three NFL head coaches to miss an NFL game due to the coronavirus are Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski (last January), Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury (November 2021), and Chicago’s Matt Nagy (November 2021).

Who will be the head coach for the Dallas Cowboys?

With McCarthy not on the sidelines tonight, former Atlanta Falcons head coach (2015-2020) and current Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will take over coaching duties. Quinn has been calling the defense from up in the booth this season.

Now, he’ll be on the field with the rest of the team.

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“He has the head coaching experience of being on the field and has also called the defense and managed the game,” McCarthy said. “(Offensive coordinator) Kellen (Moore) just needs to focus on the offense and calling the game and staying with that. (Special teams coordinator) John (Fassel) is also involved in some game management like most special teams coaches are.

“We have the network up top, so that’s something that won’t change. The biggest change is having Dan down on the field and you know, just making sure he’s getting the information he needs to make sound decisions.”

Do the Cowboys have a COVID-19 problem?

McCarthy is not the first Cowboy to deal with the coronavirus this season. In addition to the Cowboys head coach, at least six other assistants are in COVID-19 protocol just this week alone.

Offensive line coach Joe Philbin and assistant line coach Jeff Blasko have also been ruled out because of COVID-19 protocols. Last week, strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith missed the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game because of COVID-19.

Additionally, star WR Amari Cooper missed the last two games due to the illness. Cooper is coming off the reserve list. Yet, right tackle Terence Steele, tight end Blake Jarwin, and cornerback Nahshon Wright were added in recent days.

However, the outbreak might be coming to an end soon. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said recently that 100% of his players have been vaccinated or have gotten COVID-19 at this point.

Ryan Gosling is the Chief Written Content Officer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @ryangoslingPFN.


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