Mike McCarthy isn't a small human being, but apparently he's got plenty of athleticism hiding in his build. Although he didn't join the Dallas Cowboys until 2020, replacing Jason Garrett as head coach, he undoubtedly didn't enjoy the waiting game that involved the team trying to nail down a long-term deal on two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott, something that was heading for attempt No. 2 when McCarthy signed on the dotted line last January. It was a negotiation that stretched into three consecutive offseasons danced up against this year's NFL franchise tag deadline -- the two sides agreeing to a four-year, $160 million deal that is .
McCarthy wasn't present at Prescott's press conference following the signing, but in his own press conference on Thursday -- the first in months -- he both explained why and what his reaction was when he got the call the deal had been agreed to. And let's just say, well, don't go ruling McCarthy out of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, because maybe he'll give the floor exercise a go.
"I was actually in Florida when the deal was finally completed," McCarthy said. "It's a lot easier to do cartwheels on the sand -- I'll say that. [Senior VP of Public Relations Rich Dalrymple] is having a hell of a visual over there right now. I was obviously very excited."
Never wavering once in his want of Prescott for the future, McCarthy gets his wish, and(and ) that he's ahead of schedule in his recovery from a season-ending ankle fracture.
"[Dak] is definitely a keystone of moving forward as a football team," McCarthy added. "I was very excited about that [deal]. He was just finishing up his workout on the field as I walked in here. He's making progress and he's on course."
Next up for the Cowboys offense is getting everyone healthy, seeing as they were ravaged with injury that sidelined several starters for the majority of the 2020 season. Prescott's absence was joined by starting tackles Tyron Smith and La'El Collins, along with starting tight end Blake Jarwin and, eventually, starting guard Zack Martin (who suffered a season-ending injury late in the year after being moved to right tackle to help stop the bleeding there). All are on track to be ready for the start of offseason conditioning or not long thereafter, with , sources say.
Additionally, due to the cancellation of the offseason last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will presumably be the first McCarthy will have to meld with Prescott. It all points to the prolific offense getting back to the business of racking up points this coming season, as does the retention of coordinator Kellen Moore, who himself opted to remain in Dallas and away from Boise State after having been assured Prescott would be the QB for the foreseeable future, sources told CBS Sports .
All of the offensive pieces are now locked into place in Dallas and McCarthy is excited, although it's unclear if he added back flips and some half twists to go along with his cartwheels, but his elation is fairly evident.
"I'm excited about Year 2 of the offense because in a lot of ways we feel like we really didn't get to have Year 1," he said. "We're excited about what we can do this year with a healthy offense. ... Dak lives here. He's here every day. We need interaction. Everybody keeps saying, 'Hey coach, what do you need?' We need time with our players. And our players want time with the coaches.
"We have a great vibe going on. I love the way the locker room is put together. Every year you go through changes and some are a lot harder than others. Dak -- he's the keystone of this football team.
"That's the way I view it. That's the way we're going to push forward with it, too."
Of course, offense is only one-third of the equation, and Chris Jones and moved on from team legend L.P. Ladouceur -- while newly-hired defensive coordinator Dan Quinn shakes things up and several others that include that hints strongly at him retaining the starting role going forward.
As the Cowboys begin shifting gears to the NFL draft, having already completed a double pike or two in free agency and the very challenging gymnastics triple double to secure Prescott, all they have to do now is stick the landing.