“It was rough, I’m not going to lie,” McCarthy said by phone, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I’m proud of the guys and how it all turned out but I don’t ever want to do this again.”
As for the game itself, a 27-17 triumph, McCarthy acknowledged that it wasn’t the prettiest result. Far from it. His offense again was ineffective, bailed out by an extraordinary defensive performance. The score was closer than it probably should have been considering the Saints were without their starting quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and both offensive tackles.
But a win is a win is a win in this business, and McCarthy isn’t apologizing for the Cowboys moving to 8-4 on the season, their two-game losing skid now vanquished.
“Adversity win, ugly win, however, you want to define it, you have to have these wins especially when you get to later in the year,” he told reporters, via Archer. “This is a great experience for us. Let’s face it this is today’s NFL. You’ve got to be able to win with change.”
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Dak Shares Postgame Text to McCarthy
Working through the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, McCarthy might have been absent from the Caesars Superdome, but he certainly wasn’t forgotten. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott revealed that he texted McCarthy immediately after the contest, and relayed his response to the locker room.
“Obviously just saying he’s proud and make sure I let the guys know that,” Prescott shared with reporters, via the official team website. “I just told him we missed him, we got it done.”
Prescott wasn’t the reason Dallas got it done. Not the sole reason, anyway. The once-MVP favorite completed 26-of-40 passes for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception, victimized by poor play-calling on the part of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
If it weren’t for a defense that forced four interceptions, including a pick-six, and a heroic coaching effort by defensive boss Dan Quinn, filling in for McCarthy, the score may have gone the other way.
“So many people stepped up,” Prescott said, via the official team website. “Credit to Dan Quinn, the coordinators, all the leaders on this team of doing what was necessary to be ready for this game and through the ups and downs of this game.”
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Zeke Rationalizes A(nother) Lackluster Outing
There’s no rest for the weary, or for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was active Thursday night despite a balky knee that’s hampered his rushing output during much of the 2021 campaign.
Elliott converted 13 carries into 45 scoreless yards, averaging 3.5 yards per attempt. This, in sharp contrast to explosive understudy Tony Pollard, who ripped off a 58-yard TD on a third-quarter toss play. Both RBs faced the same opponent, albeit with wildly different reverberations.
Zeke, though, was unwilling to chalk up his ineffectual contributions to the knee issue.
“The Saints have a good front,” Elliott said after the game, via the official team website. “They do a lot of movement. They have a lot of good guys up front. So it was a little tough.”