Mike McCarthy outlines Cowboys plan for Chargers: starters practice, won’t play in game

·3 min read
David Zalubowski/AP

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the plan for quarterback Dak Prescott and the majority of the starters will for this week’s practices against the Los Angeles Chargers will be similar to last week against the Denver Broncos.

The starters will get the bulk of the work on Wednesday and Thursday during the joint practices between the two teams and sit out Saturday’s preseason game at SoFi Stadium.

The rookies and backups get the bulk of the work in the preseason game for the second straight week.

There is a chance Prescott and the starters in the third and final preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 26 but no final decision has been made.

And the while the Cowboys have spent time in correction mode, harping on the 17 penalties they had in the 17-7 loss in the preseason opener, they also hope to build on the positives they had in the joint practice and game against the Broncos as they prepare for the Chargers.

McCarthy was especially excited about the team’s physicality and tackling against the Broncos

He said the Cowboys combined to miss just two tackles on defense and special teams in the game.

He said it was extension of the drill work and focus from training camp.

“It’s exciting when you see carry over from the practice field to the game field,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s just a credit to our players and how they work the drills because at the end of the day that was the only live-tackling opportunity they had because up until that point it was just footwork, approach, long stride, short stride, all those little coaching details that go into tackling.

“I thought our guys did a nice job, especially for the first time as a football team. I don’t think I have ever had just two missed tackles in the first preseason game,” McCarthy said.

In combining the lack of missed tackles with roughly double digit broken tackles by the running backs and returners on special teams, McCarthy was happy with the play style the team established against the Broncos.

Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis and Aaron Shampkin, who are vying for the third running back spot behind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, powered a rushing attack that accounted 141 yards on 28 carries.

McCarthy said former TCU receiver KaVontae Turpin had a huge day on special teams in regards to missed tackles.

As far as injuries as concerned, the Cowboys expect left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) and quarterback Will Grier (hamstring) to work against the Chargers.

Newly-signed linebacker Anthony Barr is expected to come off the physically unable to perform list and get in some work against the Chargers for the first time, even if it’s just individual drills.

Safety Jayron Kearse remains out with a back injury.

The Cowboys also made five personnel moves to trim the roster from 90 to 85 before Tuesday’s deadline.

Cornerback Kyron Brown, fullback Ryan Nall, tight end Ian Bunting and wide receiver Ty Fryfogle were waived/injured. Defensive lineman Austin Faoliu was waived.