FRISCO - A jovial Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was not present at the recent press conference here at The Star to announce Dak Prescott's new contract. But McCarthy, back from vacation on a Florida beach was here on Thursday, meeting with the media to in part express his pleasure about the deal.
“It’s a whole lot easier to do cartwheels in the sand," McCarthy said, painting a visual of his reaction to the news of the four-year, $160 million deal. "Dak is the keystone of this team.''
Prescott was off to a fine statistical start in 2020 under then-new coach McCarthy ... but then the Pro Bowl QB sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. That derailed the Cowboys' hopes, as they finished a dismal 6-10.
Combine Dak's injury with the COVID-condensed 2020 offseason and one can understand why McCarthy said, "I'm excited about Year 2 on offense. In a lot of ways, we didn't feel like we got to have a Year 1."
Elsewhere at the QB position, the Cowboys are shopping for backup help. Already on the roster are Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci, and Dallas could conceivably stick there. But McCarthy - with Andy Dalton departing to Chicago in free agency - McCarthy said the Cowboys have spoken to some veteran free agents about possibly coming to Dallas.
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But for now? McCarthy is pleased with the leadership that will still be coming from the quarterback room with Prescott - who was working out at The Star while McCarthy was conducting the presser - expected to back to full health.
"His presence and natural leadership ability is something that will continue to grow," McCarthy said. "You'll see that in the locker room."
And if it leads to a successful Year 2? Maybe we'll even see some of those McCarthy cartwheels.