For the past two weeks, the Cowboys have been hit hard by COVID. It started when star wide receiver Amari Cooper was put under a COVID protocol before the Cowboy's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Although Cooper is expected to return after missing the last two games, offensive tackle Terence Steele and cornerback Nashon Wright will now be sidelined along with offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko and offensive assistant Scott Tolzien. Also missing from Thursday's game will be strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith.
The most notable absentee of all, however, will be head coach Mike McCarthy, who has reportedly contracted COVID and whose only symptom so far, he says, is a "scratchy throat." McCarthy's absence posed a challenge for the Cowboys, who had to decide who will take control of the team for Thursday's game.
Amari Cooper is at risk of missing a third game because of ongoing symptoms. Mike McCarthy said. Still has a cough. "To be determined" whether he'll practice today. "My gut would be if he doesn't practice tomorrow, I don't see him going to the game."— ftball.kingdom (@ftball_kingdom) November 30, 2021
Per @tompelissero pic.twitter.com/zjc6OJOjYh
As expected, McCarthy has said that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was the head coach in Atlanta for six years, will take the headset on the sideline in is place this Thursday. Quinn had a 43-42 overall regular season record and a 3-2 postseason mark as the Falcons leader, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2016 when Atlanta infamously blew a 28-3 halftime lead to the Patriots. Quinn was inevitably the best man to replace McCarthy this week because of his experience in that role.
Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning that 100 percent of the team players were "vaccinated or hav[e] gotten the COVID.”
This Thursday's game is a must-win for Dallas with a team seemingly struggling with confidence after dropping three of their last four, including a frustrating Thanksgiving Day loss at home to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fortunately, the Cowboys should receive a much-needed boost with the return of DeMarcus Lawrence (who was out on a foot injury) on defense with Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (who'd been recovering from a concussion) returning on offense against a struggling Saints team that has lost four straight.
Remember when the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders had to train in a bubble? We're just saying.