FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy missed practice Wednesday to undergo surgery on his appendix but is expected to be on the sideline for a highly anticipated rematch with Philadelphia.
The team said McCarthy was hospitalized after experiencing abdominal pain Wednesday morning. He was set for surgery after being diagnosed with appendicitis and expected to be released later in the day.
The Cowboys (9-3) trail the defending NFC champion Eagles (10-2) by a game in the NFC East.
Dallas takes a 14-game home winning streak into Sunday night’s game and needs a victory to maintain realistic hopes of taking the division crown from Philadelphia. The Eagles won the first meeting 28-23 in Philadelphia.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, a former head coach in Atlanta, addressed reporters during McCarthy’s regularly scheduled news conference Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was expected to handle those duties Thursday.
McCarthy, who turned 60 last month, is in his fourth season as coach of the Cowboys but first as the play-caller. Quinn didn’t want to address a contingency plan for play-calling since he was expecting McCarthy to be available for the game.
“You really think that tough Irishman is going to miss this game?” Quinn said with a smile. “We’ll hold it down for practices. Knowing him, he’ll be online tonight wanting to go through red zone and third down and everything else. We expect him to be rocking by game day.”
Quinn said McCarthy didn’t look good when he saw him early Wednesday morning. He said it didn’t take long to figure out McCarthy had more than a stomach ailment.
“Thankfully, he got it worked on quickly and get him back here rocking soon,” Quinn said.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Quinn said the COVID-19 protocols of 2020-21 made it easier for the team to get through a day of work without much disruption.
“Coach down, player down, how does that go?” Quinn said. “He’s done a fantastic job of mapping, not just him but me, anybody else who could be in that same spot to say, ‘Hey, this is the next step and this is how we go.’ We’re super organized and ready for that.”
Schottenheimer had called plays for the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Seattle before joining McCarthy’s staff as a consultant last season. He took his current title when Kellen Moore didn’t return.
NOTES: TE Peyton Hendershot (ankle) was activated off injured reserve. He has missed nine games. TE Sean McKeon was placed on IR with an ankle injury.
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