The Dallas Cowboys had already won the NFC East division title, and were guaranteed a place in the playoffs for Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Mike McCarthy decided to keep his starters on the field for most of the game.
The Cowboys defeated the Eagles (9-8), 12-5. They chose to rest many of their starters, with a playoff spot already secured at 51-26. In just three quarters, Dak Prescott was a master of his craft and threw five touchdown passes.
McCarthy had to explain why his starters were on the field so much, even though the Cowboys should have a lot of momentum going into the postseason. McCarthy explained that he has tried both ways before, but that he wanted his team to be in a rhythm this season before they make their first playoffs.
“The rhythm and timing going into the playoffs, we talked about going that into the week,” McCarthy said, per Pro Football Talk. “I’ve rested players, I’ve not rested players, but we felt where we were as a team, first year in the playoffs, it was important for us to play.”
Mike McCarthy: I've rested players and not rested players, we thought it was important to play. https://t.co/F9sTYCoL60
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 9, 2022
McCarthy was fortunate that the Cowboys did not sustain any serious injuries Saturday night, and they were able to build momentum just at the right moment. Dallas will now wait to see the results of Sunday’s games in order to determine its first-round opponent.
McCarthy stated that his staff had already begun to work on potential opponents, regardless of who they are.
McCarthy stated after the game, “We will find out who our opponent is tomorrow and the coaches are already doing the forecasting work.” “We’ll be available for the players Monday.”