Guest of the League
Aurelio Sanchez Memorial League Est. 2007
FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

McCarthy prepping for Cowboys job from old home of Green Bay

Thu May 28 6:05pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer

In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 file photo ,New Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is introduced during a press conference at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, Texas. Mike McCarthy has spent most of his first offseason as coach of the Dallas Cowboys at home in Green Bay. He's also leaning on the experience of 13 years leading the Packers to help figure out how to implement a new program while the coronavirus pandemic prevents him from being in the same room with players or assistant coaches. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)


Mike McCarthy has spent most of his first offseason as coach of the Dallas Cowboys at home in Green Bay.

He's also leaning on the experience of 13 years leading the Packers to help figure out how to implement a new program while the coronavirus pandemic prevents him from being in the same room with players or assistant coaches.

Meantime, McCarthy sure is ready to get back to the Cowboys' facility north of Dallas, particularly because live offseason practices would be happening now under normal circumstances.

''I have been with my family the whole time, except for maybe the first 10 days of the pandemic,'' McCarthy said Wednesday in his first teleconference with reporters since the draft. ''But I am anxiously preparing, frankly, to get back to Frisco as soon as possible. It's time, I know, for me to get back.''

McCarthy replaced Jason Garrett in early January after the Cowboys fell short of lofty expectations by missing the playoffs in the former Dallas quarterback's ninth full season.

After a year away from the game following his firing in Green Bay, McCarthy replaced most of the coaching staff and geared up for the draft.

Two weeks after that, the Cowboys had their virtual rookie minicamp and have spent recent weeks in virtual meetings with veterans and first-year players under the NFL's pandemic guidelines.

McCarthy said the emphasis has been on terminology and overall philosophy as coaches wait for on-field instruction time. And that's where the experience of previous, more traditional offseasons in Green Bay comes into play.

''This challenge has clearly made everyone - especially myself - take a step back,'' McCarthy said. ''Don't react as fast as you may have in normal times. I think you've really got to trust your instincts, the awareness and your experience in this particular time as far as how we install and initiate the development and growth of our program.''

Quarterback Dak Prescott hasn't been part of the virtual meetings because he hasn't signed the $31 million one-year tender under the franchise tag and is using his absence as leverage to get a long-term deal. The deadline for a multiyear contract is July 15.

After winning a Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay nine years ago, McCarthy knows the development of his relationship with Prescott is among the highest priorities.

That's also one place where McCarthy chose stability with his staff by retaining offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was Prescott's backup for a year, then his position coach and finally the play caller last season.

''He's involved in a business situation and I have full confidence he will be ready to go,'' McCarthy said of the player the Cowboys consider a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. ''There has been communication. This is the way these business situations go sometimes and you respect that and have all the confidence it will work out.''

McCarthy has said he learned lessons from the lockout in 2011 in the months after winning the Super Bowl with the Packers, when he relied too much on word that the offseason wouldn't be badly disrupted and didn't spend enough time on contingencies.

This time, he said the Cowboys have a plan for camp in Oxnard, California, where they've trained most of the past decade, and a plan for camp at headquarters in Frisco in the increasingly likely scenario of the club not leaving the state.

McCarthy noted it was hard to know if the staff was behind on implementing a new program because he'd never been through anything like this.

''I think it's obvious to think if we started April 6 like we normally would as a first-year program we would be in a different spot than we are here today,'' the coach said. ''I think our coaches have been very creative. I think the communication and correspondence with players have been excellent. The questions have been intuitive.''

McCarthy still hasn't stood in front of his team and addressed everyone, and he said he doesn't have the setup for the ''90 boxes'' on his computer screen. So in that first virtual meeting with the whole group, he tried to give his players a sense of who he is, what his philosophy will be, and what the priorities are.

And he's ready for that first face to face.

''I think we've all been taught a whole different level of patience,'' McCarthy said. ''I'm anxious to get back, frankly. My family is probably anxious for me to get back. I'm really focusing on maximizing the time and the meeting time and the most important things we need to get done when we do get back together.''

For the time being, McCarthy's new home is still his old home.

Player Notes
Myles Garrett Jul 7 10:00am ET

The Cleveland Browns and edge rusher Olivier Vernon have agreed to a restructured deal for the 2020 season. Vernon was originally owed $15.25 million non-guaranteed and will now bring home $11 million guaranteed for this upcoming season, with a $3.75 base salary and a $7 million signing bonus. The team and the pass-rusher were originally expected to part ways earlier in the offseason but he will stick around to bookend star defender Myles Garrett at least for another year.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Jul 6 11:50pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III thinks Denver's backfield in 2020 will be explosive with himself and Phillip Lindsay. Gordon realizes that both he and Lindsay will be fighting to be the No. 1 back, regardless of the balance in the play-calling. "I hope it's electric, man, just cause it's crazy that his numbers [are what they are]; I just had a season with Austin Ekeler phenomenal player. Their game is about the same. And I think Lindsay is a great, phenomenal back," Gordon said. The former Bolts back acknowledged that the two will be competing for top-dog duties, but the Broncos didn't sign Gordon in free agency for him to be the No. 2. The two-time Pro Bowler should see plenty of work and is an RB2 with upside in an offense more suited to his strengths.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jul 6 11:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ended last year as one of the league's most dominant players. He finished with 3,127 passing yards and 36 touchdowns (six interceptions) while maintaining an exceptional 66.1 completion percentage. He also added 1,206 yards and seven additional scores on the ground and finished second with 867 rushing yards before contact. Though it is reasonable to think that the 23-year-old will regress this season, analyst Marcellus Wiley believes the opposite. While conversing on Fox Sports "Speak for Yourself," the former defensive end stated that he feels the young signal-caller will be "greater than great" in 2020, which is a scary declaration considering his statistical output through 15 games last season. He also indicated that a second consecutive MVP award is on the horizon. Whether fantasy managers agree or not, they should expect Jackson to be the first or second quarterback off the draft boards for the upcoming campaign.

From RotoBaller

Jamar Taylor Jul 6 4:30pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers have signed journeyman cornerback Jamar Taylor and waived cornerback Teez Tabor in a deep roster move on Monday. Taylor has bounced around the league for seven years, and he's likely to serve as nothing more than some depth at DB on the off chance that the team needs it. With COVID-19 cutting a swath through rosters this season though, depth players may find themselves in starring roles if push comes to shove. Hopefully, Taylor won't have to be leaned on very hard.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jul 6 4:20pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed to a 10-year contract extension on Monday, according to a league source. The deal that ties Mahomes to Kansas City through the 2031 season will be the richest contract in NFL history. Last year's Super Bowl MVP had two years remaining on his contract, so it's essentially a 12-year contract in total. Mahomes' extension is worth over $400 million in total, and sources think it will be tied to a percentage of the salary cap for each season. Cha ching. Mahomes cashes in after winning MVP in 2018 with 50 regular season touchdowns and leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl title last season. His dual-threat ability makes him extremely dangerous on the football field in KC's explosive offense. Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are the top two fantasy signal-callers in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Jul 6 4:03pm ET

Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay recorded 17 receptions of at least 25 yards during the 2019 season.

Fantasy Spin: Golladay was successful last season even though he had to play with several quarterbacks. He has a chance to improve on his stats with a full season with Matthew Stafford. He should be at least a No. 2 receiver in all fantasy leagues and will be a weekly starting option.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Jul 6 3:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes agreed to terms on a 10-year contract extension with the Chiefs Monday, July 6, that will run through the 2031 season, according to sources. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract with be the richest contract in NFL history.

Fantasy Spin: Mahomes is coming off his first championship and is only 24 years old, so the Chiefs locked him up for most of the rest of his career. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and is a must-start in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Teez Tabor Jul 6 3:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers CB Teez Tabor (undisclosed) was waived Monday, July 6, with a Non-Football Injury designation.

From TheHuddle

Jamar Taylor Jul 6 3:13pm ET

Free-agent CB Jamar Taylor (Falcons) signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Monday, July 6. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Jul 6 3:02pm ET

Adam Schefter is reporting the Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes have reached an agreement on a 10-year contract extension that ties him to Kansas City through the 2031 season.

Ashtyn Davis Jul 6 2:40pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase was looking to trade safety Marcus Maye prior to the start of last season, and general manager Joe Douglas has been fielding offers for him for almost a year. Maye is in the final year of his rookie deal and isn't believed to be in the team's long-term plans, especially since the Jets would prefer to extend All-Pro safety Jamal Adams instead. New York also selected safety Ashtyn Davis in the third round this year. The 27-year-old had 65 combined tackles and an interception over a full season in 2019, but he has only four interceptions and half a sack in his three seasons in the NFL. You can ignore Maye in IDP leagues.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Jul 6 2:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku demanded a trade from the team several days ago but the team may not be so quick to accommodate him. ESPN's Josina Anderson tweeted on Monday that she believes that Njoku is still a big part of the Browns' plans going forward. Anderson went on to state that the Chicago Bears have been monitoring the situation, signaling that they may be a potential trade partner if Njoku is moved. The Browns signed Austin Hooper earlier in the offseason, prompting Njoku to want out of town.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Jul 6 11:23am ET

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku remains a big part of the Browns' offense, but a source said that Njoku has wanted out.

Fantasy Spin: Njoku is coming off of a lost season, and now he has Austin Hooper in town fresh off of a career year. So Njoku is blocked to a degree, but he might be a lottery ticket TE2 late in drafts.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jul 6 11:00am ET

San Francisco 49ers George Kittle remains without a new contract. While some reports suggest that the 26-year-old could land a deal that would pay him around $17 million per year, Matt Barrows from the Athletic was the latest to chime in, with the reporter hinting that Kittle would instead receive $13 million per year. The 2017 fifth-round pick has been one of the most consistent producers for the team over the years and finished the 2019 regular season with 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. Fantasy managers should prepare for him to be the first or second tight end selected in fantasy drafts for 2020.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Jul 6 10:50am ET

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs could be in line for a breakout year, a sentiment that was echoed by ESPN's Mike Clay, who predicted the sophomore back to total 1,400 yards from scrimmage this season. The 22-year-old finished 2019 with 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns but was hindered by a shoulder issue that cost him three games while impacting him in others. With the Raiders having some potent weapons on the receiving end, things may open up more for Jacobs in 2020. Look for him to fly off the draft boards within the first round the majority of fantasy drafts for the upcoming campaign.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Williams Jul 6 10:03am ET

New York Giants DE Leonard Williams is seeking $18-$20 million in a long-term extension. The Giants are unwilling to approach that price tag.

From TheHuddle

Joe Mixon Jul 6 7:40am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon could lead the league in rushing this season, according to MSN's Matt Johnson. Johnson stated that with the team's enhanced offensive line and the arrival of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, he wouldn't be surprised if the 23-year-old accumulated nearly 1,400 yards on the ground this year. Mixon finished last season with 1,137 yards and five touchdowns off of a career-high 278 attempts. He also pulled in 35 catches for three additional scores and ranked seventh in rushing yards after contact. Fantasy managers will want to plan accordingly as he should be one of the first backs off the boards in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Jul 6 3:40am ET

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley could be in line for his best season yet under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. According to NFL Network's Kimberly Jones, the team "may run an offense that's similar to the Cowboy's scheme under Garrett." Dallas was ranked in the top 10 in rush attempts under Garrett between 2016 and 2019, during which time, Ezekiel Elliott won two rushing titles. Despite being hindered by a high ankle sprain last season, Barkley still ran for over 1,000 yards and had six touchdowns in 13 appearances while also catching 51 receptions for an additional two scores. Look for him to come off the board within the first three picks in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, especially in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Jul 5 7:43pm ET

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers accumulated 483 passing yards on screen plays in 2019 - the second-highest mark in the league - according to Pro Football Focus.

From TheHuddle

Brian Hoyer Jul 5 6:43pm ET

New England Patriots QB Brian Hoyer finds himself in an 'interesting spot' following the addition of Cam Newton, and ESPN's Mike Reiss suggests he could be the odd man out if Newton is healthy and Jarrett Stidham shows well in training camp.

From TheHuddle