Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy conference call (9.30.20)

Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy conference call

On QB Baker Mayfield:

“I think he definitely has the ability to play in and out of the pocket. I had a chance to look at Baker last year, and comparing him to what he has done the past three games, they have switched his footwork there in the gun and it looks like he is comfortable with that. His ability to play the quarterback movement phases really suits him well because he can make all of the throws on the field. He also has the ability to get outside the pocket and make the throws, too. I think this is an offense that he looks very comfortable in.”

On if he watched much of Mayfield at Oklahoma prior to entering the NFL:

“A little bit. Based on where we were in the draft at that particular time, we were not in the first two or three picks to be able to consider him.”

On RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and if Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will be more motivated to perform in this week’s game due to the Browns RB tandem:

“They are big time backs. All three of these guys can carry an offense. That is a great compliment to all three men. Cleveland to have two of them on one team, that is definitely unique. We really like our two guys and our young guy here, too. (Cowboys RB) Tony Pollard is another guy who is dynamic. When you look at Cleveland’s ability to run the football with both of those guys, I think the fact that they were probably the best running team in the league last year and definitely one of the top teams in that I think they have taken it to another level because they really stress you schematically. They are doing a lot more schematically. From what we have seen the first three weeks, it poses both a challenge from a personnel standpoint and schematically.”

On how Mayfield has adjusted to Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s offensive system:

“I think he has adjusted very well. I think it is a system that is definitely quarterback friendly, and he looks comfortable. I think the change in the footwork is serving him well. I think he is off to a very good start.”

On his relationship with former Browns General Manager John Dorsey when Dorsey was with him in Green Bay and where Dorsey left the Browns roster:

“John is a good man and he is an excellent personnel man, too. I think wherever he has gone – Green Bay, Kansas City and Cleveland – he has an ability to assess and bring in talent is stating the obvious. The Browns roster is definitely what I would say is of high talent. It is a very talented group. Frankly for us here in Dallas, just because it is an uncommon opponent and we play each other once every four years, it is something that we have already put in extra time on the personnel because of the respect for the guys on the team and the talent of these guys and young talent. It is definitely a group that has caught our attention.”

On how special is Cowboys DE Aldon Smith’s comeback story:

“I think it is very special. What he has done to get to this point and prepare himself for this opportunity is remarkable. I can’t say enough about him and what he has done on a daily basis. He has been a true pro, and he is an excellent fit for the environment and the program that we are building here. To top it all off, he has played extremely well in two of the three games. He is off to a great start.”

On how much carryover there is to estimating what Stefanski may do this week or if it is more guesswork, considering past matchups between Green Bay and Minnesota:

“I think the answer is in your question – it is guesswork. The run game, I don’t view it as what they have done in the later years of Minnesota with (Vikings offensive coordinator/assistant head coach) Gary (Kubiak) and Kevin. You can definitely see the influence of (offensive line coach) Bill (Callahan) there. The movement emphasis is definitely from the things they have done of late in Minnesota. At the end of the day, I think they are doing an excellent job of fitting the scheme to their players. They definitely improved their offensive line from last year, and their perimeter group is pretty dynamic. They have the ability to hurt you a number of different ways.”

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