How 'grumpy' Cowboys will handle short week before facing 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Mike McCarthy isn't stressing.
The Dallas Cowboys coach knows he's facing the No. 2-seeded 49ers this Sunday, and he's well aware that the matchup comes less than a week after his team eliminated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round Monday night.
The 49ers, on the other hand, will have over a week's rest since axing the Seattle Seahawks in their own wild-card game on Saturday. Even though the Cowboys won't have as much time as their opponents to prep for the divisional-round clash, McCarthy doesn't see that impacting Sunday's outcome.
"I think it’s going to serve us well," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday of his team's short week. "We’ll have less sleep and we’ll be grumpy, so we’ll be fine. It’s the schedule, I mean, TV is king. What are you going to say? This is part of the challenge, it’s not a concern. We have plenty of time to get ready. We’re not stressed about it at all."
Sounds like someone who definitely is not stressed.
Meanwhile, in California, Kyle Shanahan echoed McCarthy's sentiment that prep time shouldn't have an impact on a playoff game. The 49ers coach said a short practice week can be both an advantage and disadvantage -- teams have less time to prepare and rest, but it can be a good thing if momentum is on their side.
Oftentimes, it's simply mind over matter.
"I love having more time and stuff, but man, sometimes you feel like you can’t play those Thursday games and you get to it, and your team is just off the wall because they haven’t slowed down at all," Shanahan told reporters Wednesday. "By this time, I don’t think it is about recovery. It’s about detail and it’s about executing, and it’s about playing at a high level. Once you get to games especially in the playoffs, that recovery people forget about pretty quickly."
Shanahan pointed to the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams, who beat the Cardinals in Arizona during last year's wild-card round, then flew to Tampa Bay and eliminated the Buccaneers on short rest in the divisional round. Similarly, the Cowboys flew home from Tampa Bay on Monday night and will hop on a plane to Santa Clara this weekend.
"So, I don’t think it means anything," Shanahan concluded.
Fans and pundits have gone back and forth this week over what type of advantage San Francisco holds after their long week of prep.
But with both coaches shrugging off the notion that time plays any part in the upcoming game's outcome, the matter might be put to bed.