Cowboys' Mike McCarthy to undergo surgery, still expected on sideline for game against Eagles

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday to address an acute case of appendicitis, the team announced. 

McCarthy began experiencing abdominal pain this week and eventually visited the Cowboys medical staff. He is expected to be released from the hospital later on Wednesday. Dallas will host their NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 10. McCarthy is expected to coach Sunday’s game.

However, McCarthy will miss Wednesday’s practice. Assistant coaches Dan Quinn, Brian Schottenheimer and John Fassel will lead the practice while McCarthy recovers from the procedure.

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Mike McCarthy coaches against the 49ers

Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levis Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.  (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

McCarthy took over the offensive playcalling this season after the team parted ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. But, Schottenheimer and the other offensive coaches do play key roles in the offensive game planning.

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The Cowboys are in the midst of an offensive surge, and quarterback Dak Prescott’s name has been linked to MVP conversations. 

Dallas’ 32.2 points per game currently leads the NFL.

McCarthy has coached in the NFL for almost two decades, and is in the midst of his fourth season as the Cowboys coach. He is the fifth winningest active coach.

Mike McCarthy at Levi's Stadium

Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

If McCarthy is not available on Sunday, Quinn could put on the head coach’s headset for the pivotal matchup with the Eagles. Quinn has previous head coaching experience, serving as the Atlanta Falcons head coach for more than five seasons.

Quinn also filled in late in the 2021 season when McCarthy had to sit out due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Mike McCarthy

Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on January 08, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

With five weeks remaining in the season, the Cowboys and Eagles continue to battle for the top spot in the division and potentially the top seed in the NFC Conference. 

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Philly currently leads the division with a 10-2 record, while Dallas is in second place with a 9-3 record. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 28-23 in a Week 9 matchup.

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The Cowboys enter Sunday’s game on a four-game winning streak, while the Eagles dropped their second game of the season last week.


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