The Dallas Cowboys will be without their head coach this week. On Monday, the team announced that Mike Mcarthy has tested positive for COVD-19 and has entered the league's COVID protocol. According to CBS Sports, McCarthy is vaccinated but it's not clear he has symptoms. He will not be on the sidelines for the team's game against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday.
"Although he will not be on the field for the Saints game, McCarthy will continue to direct, and be in involved in, all meetings and game preparations on a virtual basis for the remainder of the week, including Thursday's meetings in New Orleans," the Cowboys said in a statement. "The team will conduct all of its meetings today virtually and proceed with its regularly scheduled practice session at 12:15 p.m."
This comes after the Cowboys announced that offensive lineman Terence Steele was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Additionally, wide receiver Amari Cooper returned to the team on Monday after missing the last games for testing positive for the virus. Other members of the Cowboys coaching staff have also been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including offensive line coach Joe Philbin and assistant strength and conditioning coaches Kendall Smith and Cedric Smith McCarthy will be able to meet with the team virtually, but CBS Sports mentioned that the Cowboys could have more positive COVID-19 cases due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Not having their head coach is the last thing the Cowboys need as they look to get back on track. The team has lost three of its last four games, including a 36-33 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. The one thing that stood out in the game was the penalties as the Cowboys racked up 166 penalty yards, which is a new franchise record.
"This probably will be arguably the most-watched game other than the Super Bowl, and I hated that it got down to just throwing the ball up and getting your penalties to get your big plays," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Thursday night. Despite the recent struggles, the Cowboys are 7-4 and have a commanding lead in the NFC East as they are the only team in the division with a winning record.