NEW ORLEANS -- Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was some 530 miles away from the Caesars Superdome in Frisco, Texas, watching from a hotel because he is in Covid-19 protocols. Five other coaches and two players were not in New Orleans either because of the virus.
The Cowboys met virtually before and after practices leading into Thursday evening’s game and were unable to use the weight room the entire week. Upon arriving in New Orleans on Wednesday, players were sequestered in their downtown hotel to mitigate the possibility of adding more players to the Covid list.
None of it stopped the Cowboys, who ESPN observed picked up a win they absolutely had to have, beating the New Orleans Saints 27-17.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak and improved the Cowboys’ record to 8-4. They remain in the chase for potential homefield advantage and widen the gap in the NFC East over the 5-6 Washington Football Team, who the Cowboys have to play twice in the final five weeks.
Credit the team’s ability to overcome adversity. Credit running back Tony Pollard, whose 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Cowboys some breathing room. Credit a defense that struggled in slowing quarterback Taysom Hill’s running but came up with four takeaways.
Playing their third game in 12 days, the Cowboys could not afford another loss, which would have been their fourth in their last five contests.
It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was ugly. But on this night, style points didn’t matter.
(This report comes from ESPN news services via ABC News)