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The Cowboys head coach held his season-ending press conference on Wednesday, and the longer it went on, the more bombshells he dropped. Hard to say what’s more shocking for Cowboys fans who are still bitterly disappointed: that the coach seems smugly confident in his job security, that he’s still defending the quarterback draw that ended their playoff run, or that he continued to ride Ezekiel Elliott over Tony Pollard after Elliott tore a PCL the first weekend in October. At least he acknowledged that penalties will be a major point of emphasis this offseason.
McCarthy’s staff remains a popular bunch. Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore interviewed virtually with the Vikings, Quinn got a new invite from a division rival, and one of Quinn’s defensive assistants is now on the radar for the DC gig at one of Quinn’s old stops.
Elsewhere, a Cowboys legend drags the team for not keeping it simple with one of their top playmakers, a pair of rookies prep for ankle surgery this week, a depth defender heads for greener pastures, Dallas does big ratings once again, and a draft guru has the Cowboys looking to the college champs for next season. Here’s the News and Notes.
Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy says he does not see his future with team as an issue :: ESPN
The Cowboys coach expressed no concern about his job security, despite a firestorm of controversy about the team’s disappointing season and the way their playoff run ended on Sunday. He told reporters that he had met twice with owner Jerry Jones since the game. “We had very positive conversations and, just, the focus is on the evaluation process,” McCarthy said. “I understand what goes on here every day. I know how to win. I know how to win in this league. I know how to win playoff games. I know how to win a championship. So I have great confidence in that.”
Giants request to interview Cowboys DC Dan Quinn for head coaching job :: Giants Wire
Add another club to the potential suitors for Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The division rival Giants have put in a request to talk to Quinn about their head coaching opportunity. Quinn is in the middle of four other head-coach interviews this week.
Seahawks request interview with Cowboys assistant Joe Whitt Jr for defensive coordinator role :: Field Gulls
The Cowboys’ coaching cupboard could be being raided further. The defense’s passing game coordinator and secondary coach has been identified as someone the Seahawks would like to talk to about their defensive coordinator opening. After a long stint in Green Bay, Whitt spent time with Cleveland and Atlanta before landing in Dallas in 2021, where he was reunited with both McCarthy and Quinn.
Vikings interview Cowboys coordinators Dan Quinn, Kellen Moore for head coach :: Twin Cities Pioneer Press
The Vikings held a virtual visit with Quinn early Wednesday, then another one with Moore later in the day. Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was Minnesota’s first interview, on Sunday. Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has been invited to be part of the process as well.
Cowboys DE Bradlee Anae signs with New York Jets :: Cowboys Wire
Anae was a fifth-round draft pick in 2020, but was buried on the depth chart among the Cowboys’ talented edge rushers. After two tackles and a QB hit in 50 snaps this season, Anae was moved to the practice squad. Now he’ll look for a fresh start with the Jets.
Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy defends play call that saw clock run out on season :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
McCarthy stands by the ill-fated quarterback draw run with 14 seconds to play Sunday. “A 13-second threshold is the call,” the coach said. “So that 14 seconds, in my view, that’s the right call.” He also absolved Prescott and center Tyler Biadasz of wrongdoing for trying to spot the ball themselves. What he admits may need tweaking is how far Prescott chose to run before giving himself up.
Mike McCarthy outlines "No. 1 focus" in offseason :: The Mothership
In his season-ending press conference Wednesday, the Cowboys head coach said addressing penalties is the primary focus moving forward. Dallas ended 2021 as the most penalized team in the NFL, with 127. “It’s way too many,” McCarthy said. Of particular note are pre-snap infractions and holding calls. “We definitely, definitely need to be much better in that area.”
Mike McCarthy’s Ezekiel Elliott injury update calls entire season into question :: The Landry Hat
McCarthy confirmed that his starting running back suffered a PCL tear in Week 4. Yet, the team continued to say he was fine and gave him more snaps than the explosive- and healthier- Tony Pollard. Even more shocking, Elliott’s heaviest workload in terms of rushing attempts came the very next week. The dangerous and reckless decision to keep feeding an injured Elliott didn’t help the offense, may have actually hampered it, and now casts skepticism on just about anything McCarthy says.
Troy Aikman baffled by Cowboys abandoning CeeDee Lamb vs 49ers: 'The game is not that difficult' :: Cowboys Wire
Looking back on Sunday’s postseason loss to the 49ers, the three-time Super Bowl champion told a Dallas radio station that Michael Irvin “would have had 10 catches at halftime if they played us the way that they played CeeDee Lamb in that game.” Aikman said Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore simply put scheme over solid, simple playcalling.
Cowboys rookie DL Chauncey Golston and WR Brandon Smith will have offseason ankle surgery :: Blogging the Boys
The two Iowa rookies are scheduled for ankle surgery on Thursday. Golston had a solid first season after being a third-round pick; he finished 2021 with 32 tackles, four QB hits, and a sack. Smith was an undrafted free agent who spent the season on the practice squad but could compete for a roster spot in 2022.
Cowboys/49ers tilt provide CBS, Nickelodeon with massive ratings :: Jon Machota (Twitter)
CBS Sports and Nickelodeon’s broadcast of the Cowboys vs. 49ers game on Sunday was the most-watched NFL Wild Card game on any network in 7 years (Cowboys vs. Lions, 1/4/15, 42.3), averaging 41.5 million viewers. The audience peaked (50.2 million viewers) for the game’s conclusion
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 19, 2022
Mel Kiper's 1st 2022 mock draft sends Cowboys a Georgia defender in Round 1 :: Cowboys Wire
With the 24th pick this year, the Cowboys could have the option to grab a defensive end from Georgia’s national championship squad. Travon Walker “stands out every time I watch,” says draft guru Mel Kiper. With outstanding size and length and rare athleticism, he could be an intriguing selection for a Dallas defense looking to continue its rise to elite caliber.