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Head coach Mike McCarthy has entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol. And while his positive test will keep him off the sidelines when the Cowboys take the field in New Orleans on Thursday night, the coach still plans to be involved with preparations leading up to the Week 13 game, including day-of meetings to be conducted virtually.
While the team has not officially announced a plan on who will do what with McCarthy out, there’s previous head coaching experience already in the building.
Although that should give the team some options as they move through the week, USA Today’s Jori Epstein reports that assistant coach Rob Davis “will assume head-coaching responsibilities in person, two people with knowledge of the Cowboys’ plan confirmed.”
Davis spent 11 seasons with Green Bay as a long snapper and then another ten as the Packers’ director of player development during McCarthy’s tenure. He was plucked from the private sector by McCarthy in January 2020 to assume the title of Cowboys’ assistant head coach.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was a head coach as recently as last season and led the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth; WFAA’s Mike Leslie reported earlier that it was Quinn who was expected to assume head coaching responsibilities in McCarthy’s absence.
Exactly how the #Cowboys ultimately divide Mike McCarthy’s game-day responsibilities is yet to be determined. Two people directly involved said that will be decided in a meeting planned for later today.
DC Dan Quinn has the most HC experience among McCarthy’s staff members.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 29, 2021
Offensive line coach Joe Philbin was the head man in Miami from 2012 until a month into the 2015 season; he acted as interim head coach in Green Bay when McCarthy was fired there in 2018. But Philbin was placed in COVID protocol just before the Thanksgiving Day game and had already been ruled out of the Saints trip, even before McCarthy’s positive test.
Special teams coordinator John Fassel served as the Rams’ interim head coach for a few games at the end of the 2016 season after the firing of Jeff Fisher.
Ben McAdoo, a consultant with the team who has been doing advance scouting of opponents and had been tapped to help fill in coaching the offensive line this week, was the Giants’ head coach in 2016 and for most of 2017.
Of course, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore interviewed for head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and at the college level at Boise State prior to the 2021 season. He is viewed as a top head coaching prospect and is expected to draw significant interest again this coming offseason.
It’s safe to say that the Cowboys will rely on every staffer listed here to do more than just the job they’re paid for as the team goes into triage mode entering the final six games of the regular season.
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