The Dallas Cowboys pulled off a surprising 31-28 road victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. And perhaps an unconventional form of motivation from head coach Mike McCarthy impacted the Cowboys’ performance in the upset win.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that McCarthy smashed watermelons with a sledgehammer during a pregame meeting at the team’s hotel ballroom on Saturday night. McCarthy was emphasizing the goal of trying to “hammer the ball out of Dalvin Cook’s hands.”
The incident left McCarthy’s pants soaked and players “roared,” with Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence also getting in on the watermelon smashing action. Here’s more from Pelissero:
#Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy pulled out a sledgehammer during Saturday night’s team meeting and smashed watermelons like Gallagher to emphasize their objectives. Players roared, then responded with an inspired win in Minnesota. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/oiUThTYuYJ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 23, 2020
The Cowboys indeed forced a fumble on a carry from Cook (who entered this game as the hottest player in the league), with Lawrence fittingly recovering the ball.
Donovan Wilson is not playing around today. Runs through Dalvin Cook to force a fumble. pic.twitter.com/dFUOw36xa6
— Joey Hayden (@_joeyhayden) November 22, 2020
Some creativity was surely needed to get through to a team that entered Sunday with a 2-7 record and with losses in four straight games. McCarthy certainly delivered.