The Cowboys’ promising season could crumble due to injuries and COVID-19 | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Liz Loza discuss how the Cowboys’ early season success has taken a dip due to a rash of injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak. Also, Charles will take us through the possible conspiracy theories surrounding who should step in this Thursday for Mike McCarthy as head coach. Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: The Cowboys, I mean Jerry Jones has come out and said, "Look, everybody in the team is vaccinated. And if they're not vaccinated they've had COVID at this point." So technically everybody's got some kind of protection against COVID either through a shot or through just contracting COVID. I guess that's one way to go, but you're not going to have your head coach obviously in the next game. You're not going to have a handful of assistant coaches.

I feel like every passing day we're like, OK what Cowboys player could potentially be added onto this pile. For a team that started with so much promise and now has racked up all these different injuries. And then you have like the Amari Cooper COVID situation, with him not being vaccinated, given how much money he makes and that it automatically took him off the field. And now you have you members of the coaching staff getting it.

Like this is-- if you're a Cowboys fan, it's a little bit of a nightmare because you really thought, wow, we started horribly in 2020. You know the team fought down the stretch, showed at least something despite being destroyed with injuries, but this was the year. We're putting it all together, everybody's there. Dak looks great, he's justifying the big contract. We've got two running backs, loaded skill positions, the defense has probably the Defensive Rookie of the Year on it. And now all of a sudden you're losing games, you're losing guys to COVID, and it feels messy all over again.

LIZ LOZA: Well, that's the Cowboys, they're messy. I mean there's not a lot of discipline, right? There's a lot of grandstanding and not a lot of consistency, at least positive consistency. I do think Amari Cooper is supposed to play on Thursday night against the Saints. I did, however, read that McCarthy said he still has a cough, like he still has lingering symptoms of COVID.

I don't really understand the world in which like you are allowed to play even if you're sick, but you're not contagious anymore. I'm not an immunologist. So that does seem like he will be hampered in some respect, like even if it is just in terms of like respiratory efficiency. If you have a cough, you know that's going to be something.

I don't think missing McCarthy for the game is that big of a deal. Frankly, should be a preview honestly for next year when you've got Kellen Moore calling the plays and leading the damn team anyway. So I don't really understand the hoopla being made out of McCarthy. I understand the hoopla because it's a great headline, and it's got COVID in it so people are going to click on it, and yeah, yeah, yeah. But I don't think it adds to the embattlement of the team compared to the other things you rattled off.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I think it's messy. I mean it's just one more thing. It's any time you're going into a-- OK, I'll give you a good example. So when we find out McCarthy's got COVID, right? The first thing I do. The first thing I do is I reach out to Cowboys sources and I'm like, who's going to be the-- like is it going to be Kellen? Like could Kellen end up being the interim for this game? And the reason why I asked that question is because that's the asset that they could lose this off-season.

Maybe Kellen Moore ends up coaching a college program, maybe he ends up coaching another NFL team. And to me, the decision there, I was like this is going to showcase something to me. Because if it's Dan Quinn, then you're saying, "OK, we're just going to go with the guy." Clearly is the right call, wealth of head coaching experience, knows how we're supposed to go. Like this to him, this is his 55th barbecue doing this, like no problem at all. Or you're going to go with the young guy who maybe you'd probably struggle with, you're going to lose them. And you're sitting there going how important is he to our organization?

So I'm sitting there, automatically what does that do? That creates a situation, we've got reporters who are now tapping into the franchise going, "What's going on here? Like are you going to choose the guy that you don't want to lose and maybe get a little bit of a test run and could that potentially affect Mike McCarthy's future in Dallas if someone wants to come and get Kellen Moore? Or are you going to go with the reliable guy, the simple option and completely remove the dynamic of potential drama."

Because there's no one, I don't care what anybody says, if they had tapped Kellen Moore and it's going to be Dan Quinn if they had tapped Kellen Moore to be the interim coach and they go and blow the Saints out 48 to 10. There's no way in hell that fan base, I don't care what the reality is, what he actually did, what-- everybody would go, "Yeah, that's a--" lot of fans is going to sit there--

LIZ LOZA: Why wouldn't you want that? If you're the Cowboys and everything is bigger in Texas, why wouldn't you want-- I mean, I think it's ridiculous that you should choose Dan Quinn. Maybe make the guy that you've been courting for so long happy.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I think-- I mean, again, there's a couple of different ways you could look at it. Number one, you could look at it and say, "We don't want to showcase the guy that we don't want to lose," OK. No, I'm just--


LIZ LOZA: You already shortlist him.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Liz, this is how-- but this is how teams think. It doesn't matter what you have already done. That's how they think, it's very linear. It's do we want to showcase him? But, then you know, conversely, I had a phone conversation with someone who knows that team really well and you know what he said to me? He said, "I think there's a chance they might want to showcase him because in like conspiracy land, what if it goes really poorly?" And then all of a sudden, maybe that helps you to keep him. Maybe it takes a little bit of the shine off of Kellen--

LIZ LOZA: You've got this so much Galaxy brain, this is nonsense.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I know. I know. But that's the point, Liz. That's the point I'm trying to make to you is that you're saying, "Well, who cares, this doesn't really matter. It's not a big deal. It's just Dallas, and it's messy." No, it does matter because this is, that's their syndrome, Galaxy brain. That is the Dallas Cowboys syndrome. Everything has way more layers than it should. And it's far more complicated and there's so much more conspiracy and drama and [BLEEP] wrapped up in it. That's just the Cowboys.

So to me, that's why COVID, this kind of stuff matters. Plus, the reversal theory. There's always the reversal theory. They could start great and if they lose three games, Oh my God, it's going back to what it was. That's not true, this is still a great team. It's still-- once everyone's healthy or you know, you get as healthy as you can be, they're going to be fine. Especially in this NFC where everybody's jacked up anyway.