The Dallas Cowboys came out with a thumping 51-26 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the final encounter of the normal season of the NFL. However, with both sides having already qualified for the playoff rounds, the fixture was quite insignificant for both these sides in the context of their respective seasons.
Due to this, both sides went for diametrically opposite approaches, as the Eagles rested most of their starting players to give them more rest leading into the business end of the season. However, the Eagles did not conform to the general notion of resting players, as coach Mike McCarthy fielded his strongest possible lineup.
Mike McCarthy did not want to break the rhythm of the side by resting his main players
Fans were bewildered with why the Boys went into the match with such an approach, as McCarthy drew flak for not looking at the workload of his players. Quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and most of the rest of the first-string offense remained in the game until early in the fourth quarter.
However, Mike McCarthy defended his tactics for fielding his strongest lineup as he claimed that he wanted all of his active 48 players to get some game-time in order not to lose their rhythm for the playoffs.
“The rhythm and timing going into the playoffs, we talked about going that into the week,” Mike McCarthy said. “I’ve rested players, I’ve not rested players, but we felt where we were as a team, the first year in the playoffs, it was important for us to play.”
The Dallas Cowboys coach did clarify that his coaching team had thought about resting players for the fixture but eventually felt that playing all of them would be the better thing to do, so as to get the morale-boosting victory going into the playoffs.
McCarthy continued, “We talked about it Sunday after last week’s game. We all felt clearly this is the best thing. The players wanted to play. Even the guys who didn’t play wanted to play, so I think it tells you where we are as a football team, and that’s exciting. This was the right thing for us to do, and I’m glad the way it turned out.”