The Dallas Cowboys have had a dreadful season to this point, but Sunday brought a rare bright spot in the form of a 31-28 upset win over the Vikings in Minnesota to move to 3-7 and, somehow, just a half game behind the 3-6-1 Eagles for the NFC East division lead.
It was the best the Cowboys have looked in the post-Dak Prescott injury season, with Andy Dalton playing well in his return to the field from a concussion, and the defense, while it allowed 28 points, mostly bottled up star running back Dalvin Cook who had been running wild on teams over the past month. Apparently, that uptick in defensive effort from a team that’s been among the league’s worst in just about every defensive metric can be attributed to a rather colorful team meeting at the hotel on Saturday night before the game.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, embattled head coach Mike McCarthy decided to fire up the troops with some good old fashioned prop comedy, smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer to the delight of his players while calling out the week’s focus points.
#Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy pulled out a sledgehammer during Saturday night’s team meeting and smashed watermelons like Gallagher to emphasize their objectives. Players roared, then responded with an inspired win in Minnesota. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/oiUThTYuYJ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 23, 2020
I never thought I would hear “the players were roaring, McCarthy’s pants were soaked” in a positive frame of reference on television, but here we are. This is the type of thing you can spin as inspirational after a win, but would’ve been tragically hilarious had they lost. It did seem to get the guys fired up, with DeMarcus Lawrence apparently asking to smash the Dalvin Cook watermelon himself. I look forward to this becoming a weekly tradition as Cowboys staffers frantically scour local grocery stores for fruits McCarthy can smash to rally the team each Saturday.