The Cowboys spent the days leading up to their Thursday night game against the Saints scrambling to fill coaching responsibilities with head coach Mike McCarthy and five other members of his staff missing because of COVID-19 protocols.
It was a process they handled well enough to beat the Saints 27-17 to snap a two-game losing streak and take another step toward an NFC East title. It wasn’t a sparkling performance and McCarthy called it an “ugly win” on the phone, but he also called it a “great experience” for a team that’s likely to encounter other adversity over the final five games of the 2021 season.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn took on McCarthy’s gameday responsibilities and said he enjoyed the challenge that the team faced this week.
“One thing you’ve heard me say before is I love doing hard things with a group of people, and this was one of those moments,” Quinn said, via Todd Archer of ESPN.com. “We got great people to get the job done. We wanted to make sure Mike and all the guys who missed, let them know we got their backs. So honestly, that was the only thing I was nervous about. I didn’t want to let him down. He’s done a great job leading us, to how it’s going to go down, the play style that we wanted. But it was just a cool win.”
While it might have been a cool win, Quinn said he and the rest of the team are looking forward to a return to “normalcy” in time for their Week 14 matchup with Washington.