All Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb went to downtown to attend a basketball game and watched Dirk Nowitzki retire his number.
But, if the Cowboys stumble in next week’s wild card round, the two can jump on a plane and fly to Cabo.
neutral? off course not. But, 26 years without an appearance in the NFC Championship Game makes fans irrational.
Sitting on-court at the American Airlines Center hours after Micah Parsons on the COVID-19 list – who attended a Mavericks game two days ago – is patting his nose at an opportunistic opponent at the most crucial point of the season .
This is reckless. It shows a lack of respect for sacrifice and discipline, which most of your teammates and coaches have displayed during this difficult season.
If the Cowboys fail to win a playoff game in their return after the season after a two-year absence, Cooper and Lamb’s tour will mark the latest failure of a franchise that couldn’t keep its eye on the prize.
A charge can be made that it gives too much importance to a simple night out. This argument ignores the fact that hours after the Cowboys receivers returned home from a Mavericks game, the club announced that left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Anthony Browne also tested positive for COVID.
Cornerback Trayvon Diggs and safety Donovan Wilson both appeared on reports of injury with a disease that could become the Omicron version as their trial continues. If that happens, he will sideline at least five players for the finale of the team’s regular season against Philadelphia.
Let’s say the optics are not good for Cooper and Lamb.
“We basically have a COVID update almost daily,” said head coach Mike McCarthy. “As these protocols are changing and adjusting and everyone understands what is put out of the league and gets the best recommendations possible, this is a constant focus.
“Obviously, we want everyone to use good judgment because we all understand what lies ahead of us and the challenges we face, both personally and professionally.”
McCarthy was asked his thoughts on a night out for Cooper and Lamb on three separate occasions during Thursday’s press conference. He sidestepped the question each time, citing the organization’s proactive approach and backtracking from the commitment he believes it exists to.
The head coach’s first stop each morning upon The Star’s arrival is the office of athletic trainer Jim Maurer, who oversees the test. Players and coaches were told again earlier this week that a room was available at the adjacent Omni Hotel if they wanted to isolate themselves for a stretch run.
The Cowboys have consistently established or enforced advanced protocols prior to any order from the NFL. Two sources said a league official earlier this week informally told the club it was close to the top of the league in terms of protocol being followed.
“We’re all adults here,” McCarthy said. “Our players have done an excellent job testing family and friends who are available. This is something that has really picked up in the last six weeks. Those are the things I am a part of on a daily basis.
“You’re seeing the precautions. You’re seeing the whole group doing a really good job. Yes, we can have one or two individuals who isolate themselves out there. But, at the end of the day I guess Whatever it is, you just keep on advising and instructing and educating.
“That’s how you have to work through this COVID challenge and that’s what we’re doing.”
On 28 December a memo was distributed to each club, jointly developed by the league and the Players Association, which stated that the Omicron version was “one of the most contagious viruses in history” and that public areas including restaurants Players and staff are urged to avoid. Bars and social gatherings during this spike.
An older part of the policy still advises against participating in professional sporting events unless the person is sitting in a suit with more than 10 people and is wearing personal protective equipment. Unvaccinated players and staff can be fined $14,650 for ignoring this protocol.
Photos of Cooper and Lamb show them in a crowd without wearing masks. Cooper, who missed two games earlier this season after coming down with COVID-19, has not been vaccinated.
McCarthy was asked if he specifically told players not to go to sporting events other than NFL games.
“Yeah, you want your players to use good judgment and take whatever precautions they can,” McCarthy replied. “I think they clearly understand that this is a boom that we are involved in, not only our football team but our community. You continue to recognize the importance and urgency of taking as many precautions as possible.”
Tony Romo, Jason Vuitton and Bobby Carpenter spent some time in January of 2008 before a divisional playoff game against New York. The Cowboys didn’t lose to the Giants because of their weekend excursion to the tip of the Baja California peninsula, but that’s not a good image.
What happened to Parsons near the playoffs should have been a cautionary tale. The rookie showed he understood the consequences of his actions, tweeting that he felt let down on his team and the Cowboys Nation.
He receives it.
Cooper and Lamb do not.
Catch David Moore and Robert Wilonsky as they co-host The Intentional Grounding on Tickets (KTCK-AM 1310 & 96.7 FM) every Wednesday through the Super Bowl from 7-8 p.m.
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