Don’t look now but the Cowboys are surging. After squeezing past the Vikings, 31–28, on Sunday, Dallas now has three wins, the same as every other team in the NFC East. It’s possible that after the dust settles at the end of Week 12, the Cowboys could be sitting pretty in first place at 4–7. Head coach Mike McCarthy knew he had to do something the night before the Minnesota game to get his team ready to go, so he turned to the comedic stylings of ’80s prop comic Gallagher.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the climax of McCarthy’s Saturday night speech at the team hotel was a stunt where he took a sledgehammer and started busting some watermelons.
“Mike McCarthy gets up and says, ‘Guys, I want to apologize. I don’t think I did a good enough job emphasizing our objectives for the week’—one of which was to hammer the ball out of [Minnesota running back] Dalvin Cook’s hands,” Pelissero said on Monday. “At that point McCarthy pulls out a sledgehammer, not a prop, a full sledgehammer you could knock a wall down with, and someone rolls in a bunch of watermelons.
“Each one has a different objective written on it. McCarthy reads the objective—BAM!—smashes the watermelon. He goes down the row doing this. The players are roaring, McCarthy’s pants are soaked. He finally gets to the watermelon with Dalvin Cook’s picture on it, DeMarcus Lawrence jumps up and goes, ‘I’ve got to get that one.’ He hands the sledgehammer to Lawrence, he smashes that watermelon.”
McCarthy even went as far as to bring his own props with him on the trip.
“We actually had to take our own watermelons with us because it’s harder to find big watermelons this time of year in Minneapolis than Dallas, from what I was told,” he told reporters later on Monday.
And he didn’t even incur any penalties for damaging the ballroom.
“We were able to get it done right,” McCarthy said. “The cleanup was efficient. The hotel was a little concerned there.”
Asked if he was superstitious enough to make the pregame watermelon smash a tradition moving forward, McCarthy seemed upset that word of his stunt had reached the public.
“We’ll see if it leaks out, because what happens in a team meeting usually stays there,” he said.
It sounds corny as hell but there’s no denying that people love seeing stuff get blown to bits by a big hammer. Gallagher sold out massive auditoriums back in his heyday and people went absolutely wild when he busted out that giant mallet and started obliterating everything from apples to toothpaste to video game consoles. This year, the NFC East has been on the receiving end of the hammer, so it must have felt good for the Cowboys to be on the other side of thin
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