‘Always a tough stretch’: McCarthy cancels Day 2 of Cowboys minicamp practice

·3 min read

The Cowboys started the mandatory portion of their minicamp on Tuesday.

They got through enough content, apparently, that head coach Mike McCarthy canceled Wednesday’s practice in favor of a “dynamic” team bonding event.

McCarthy also nixed all media availability for the day, meaning he won’t be answering to inquiring minds quite yet about what the activity entailed.

Though scrapping the second day of practice may sound unusual at first blush, the move shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. McCarthy followed a similar timeline last year, canceling the final day of minicamp practice for a group activity before releasing players for a 40-day break before Oxnard.

In fact, before the team had even taken the field for their first practice this week, McCarthy was already looking ahead to the rest of the schedule, with an eye toward not burning anyone out.

“I’ll be honest. When we walk off here today, I’ll have a little better idea of what we’re going to do,” the coach told reporters Tuesday. “I want to get through this install phase. We didn’t have the best of weeks last week [at OTAs], which is normal. It’s not negative. I just think: young players, veteran guys that we’re resting, the different combinations. Six, seven, eight installs is always a tough stretch for your rookies.”

Tuesday’s session marked the eighth and final install day according to the coach’s master plan.

No word yet on Thursday’s scheduled practice session, but McCarthy has admitted that strict CBA rules prohibiting contact at this stage of the offseason are a factor. There’s no benefit to exposing players to potential injury just for the sake of holding another practice. The coach seems content to save the real work for the more amenable environment in California, where the team will not only hold their usual camp, but also take part in joint practices with both the Broncos and Chargers ahead of their preseason games.

“It’s really kind of hard to apply pressure, those types of things,” McCarthy said of these early sessions at The Star. “I think the biggest thing- and really the whole goal of the offseason program- is to conceptually learn and teach and make sure that we can go in and have a very competitive training camp in Oxnard, especially with the weather and the situation out there. The one thing I enjoyed [about Oxnard in 2021] is we were really able to push the team. The workload capacity out there was excellent last year. So, we’re looking to build off of that.”

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