Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy says his side are "not living in" last year's premature playoffs exit ahead of their Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

The Cowboys crashed out of last year's postseason with a 23-17 Wild Card game loss to the San Francisco 49ers after topping the NFC East and finishing as the conference third seed.

McCarthy, who was assured of his job irrespective of Sunday's result earlier this week by owner Jerry Jones, is also seeking his first playoff win in three seasons with the Cowboys.

"We're not living in it, that's for sure," McCarthy told reporters when asked if last year's Wild Card exit had been discussed in the lead-up to Monday's game. "We've acknowledged it.

"The thing that we're really focused on is what we've done, who we are and making sure we have our plan as tight as possible going into this game to do what we need to do to win this game.

"We've had time for the theme speeches, they've been good triggers to talk about, as far as secret wound of losing a playoff game. We've definitely experienced that.

"We talked about the buffalos running through the storm and resiliency. That has served us well, all those experiences are the gold in our concierge. That's really who we are.

"The reality is we're not getting super philosophical, it's a ridiculously long answer here. The reality of it is we need to make sure our focus is tight and we're going into Tampa to win a game on the road against an outstanding football team."

The Cowboys finished the 2022 regular season with a 12-5 record, although they lost two of their final four games, including an uninspiring 26-6 defeat to the Washington Commanders last Sunday.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has thrown an interception in each of the past seven games, including eight in their past five.

"Like how we function internally, we're evaluating everything we do," McCarthy said about Prescott. "Every walk-through, if there's a correction, every practice, you're always correcting to improve.

"That's part of your application and evaluation process. The things that haven’t gone well are the things you learn most from and that's life. That is our gold… We'll be ready to go."

Jerry Jones has dismissed talk that Mike McCarthy's job is on the line when the Dallas Cowboys face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL Wild Card round.

The Cowboys reached the postseason for a second successive year with a 12-5 record, setting up a Monday Night Football showdown with the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.

Dallas were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers at the same stage last season and come into the clash with the Tom Brady's Tampa Bay on the back of a 26-6 loss to the Washington Commanders.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jones has given head coach McCarthy his backing ahead of the playoff encounter.

When asked if McCarthy could pay the price for a defeat to the Bucs, he told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas: "No. I don't even want to ... No. That's it.

"I don't need to go into all the pluses or minuses. I've got a lot more to evaluate Mike McCarthy on than this playoff game."

There are doubts about defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's future after he was approached by the Denver Broncos following the firing of Nathaniel Hackett.

Yet Jones is not contemplating the prospect of any members of his coaching staff moving on.

"I can't tell you how much confidence I've got in Mike and our coaching staff of being on top of where we are with this team right now," Jones said.

"They've got every nuance. They understand every frailty that we might have or we might have shown Sunday [against Washington].

"They've got everything in their grasp and in their understanding, and I have complete confidence in this coaching staff. It's outstanding. We've got a great chance to go down there and have success."

The chances of Odell Beckham Jr. signing for the Dallas Cowboys are "diminishing", according to owner Jerry Jones.

Beckham has been a free agent since leaving the Los Angeles Rams, with whom he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the team's Super Bowl triumph last season.

The Cowboys have been closely linked to a move to sign the wide receiver, with Beckham undergoing a physical with the team earlier this month.

However, it was reported the Cowboys had concerns over Beckham's recovery from his injury, and the team signed former Indianapolis Colt T.Y. Hilton last week to add veteran depth to their receiving core.

Hilton was inactive as the Cowboys clinched a place in the postseason with three games to go, despite a shock loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

With just three games left of the regular season, Jones feels the chances of Beckham joining the team are getting lower by the day.

"As of this morning we don't have anything," Jones told 105.3 The Fan. 

"The reality is though that time is moving on down the road relative to playing in the playoffs and so every day diminishes our chances of going forward."

Odell Beckham Jr's future is not on a timeline for Dallas Cowboys general manager Jerry Jones, after the wide receiver hinted he could yet move to Texas.

The free agent, who has been without a club since winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams last season, has spent the past two days in contact with the team.

After undergoing a physical on Monday, Beckham attended a Dallas Mavericks match alongside Cowboys players, where he suggested a move could be a "good possibility."

But Jones says there is no deal on the table yet for the three-time Pro Bowl pick, who has not played since tearing his ACL in the Super Bowl earlier this year.

"By no means are we at a position to say, 'close,' or where we are," he said. "We're just discussing the many options that are there."

Asked if Beckham could play this season if he was to sign imminently, Jones sidestepped a direct answer, adding: "I'm going to keep that one at bay because that's degree.

"It's a lot different if you play one play or if you played or are available for a week and that week be the Super Bowl week, than if he's available the next week.

"I would say that's a point of discussion - a player's own belief of where he is in becoming ready to play is real big.

"I just think this is an opportunity that is rare because of his availability. But one way or the other, there's not a failure here. I'm talking about the actual signing or not signing. There's no disappointment here."

The Cowboys are 9-3 for the season to date, and lie second in NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles, with their next match against state rivals the Houston Texans on Sunday.

LeBron James has questioned why the media have not asked him about the controversial photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The Washington Post published a photograph last month of Jones, as a 14-year-old, amid a crowd of white pupils attempting to block black students from North Little Rock High School in 1957.

The now-80-year-old says he was merely an observer and did not engage in discrimination, during a period where US schools were undergoing desegregation.

Speaking after the Los Angeles Lakers' 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers however, James asked why reporters had not asked for his opinion on the matter, in contrast to the Kyrie Irving scandal earlier this season.

"I got one question for you guys before you guys leave," he said. "I was thinking when I was on my way over here, I was wondering why I haven't [had] a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo.

"But when the Kyrie [Irving] thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that."

Irving was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets in early November after posting links to material containing anti-Semitic depictions, including a documentary.

"When I watch Kyrie talk and he says, 'I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we're talking about my people and the things that we've been through,' and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, black people, have been through in America," James continued.

"I feel like as a black man, as a black athlete, as someone with power and a platform, when we do something wrong, or something that people don't agree with, it's on every single tabloid, every single news coverage, it's on the bottom ticker. It's asked about every single day.

"But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, it's just been buried under 'Oh, it happened. Okay, we just move on.'

"I was just kind of disappointed that I haven't received that question from you guys."

Odell Beckham Jr's move to the Dallas Cowboys is a step closer with team owner Jerry Jones admitting he held a "good meeting" with the free agent on Thursday.

The 30-year-old wide receiver has been heavily linked with the Cowboys along with the New York Giants.

Jones said after Thursday's 28-20 win over the Giants that he had spoken to Beckham, albeit by phone rather than an in-person visit.

"We had a good visit today, that's it," Jones told reporters. "I don't have a timeframe there."

Beckham has not played since last season's Super Bowl triumph with the Los Angeles Rams, where he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Jones conceded it was unclear if Beckham would be available to play this season, with the Cowboys' latest win improving their record to 8-3.

"We'll see. We'll have to see," Jones said. "I haven't gotten the benefit of his rehab work and where he is."

The Cowboys have not won the Super Bowl since winning three in four years from 1992 to 1995, when they traded for Charles Haley and Deoin Sanders during that era.

"I don't want to make comparisons but Odell could help us," Jones said. "I believe that right now. Now, we've got to make it fit and that's the challenge here."

Since Dak Prescott was injured in the season opener, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has remained optimistic that his quarterback would return sooner than originally estimated.

He now believes Prescott will be back on the field this Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

"Well, let's just say this: He's determined to [play]," Jones said during an interview with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. "I think he's, from my perspective, from what I can know and see, I think he's going to get there. We feel like that physically, he's at a position that the risk/reward justifies him being out there in terms of any reoccurrence of the injury."

Prescott was originally expected to be sidelined between six-and-eight weeks after suffering a fracture near his right thumb in the fourth quarter of a 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 11.

He began throwing again last week and coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Prescott would be medically cleared to return to practice Wednesday.

"He’s going to be given every opportunity this week to go play," Jones said. "He looks ready to go."

Jones said Prescott had a "very impressive" throwing session prior to Sunday’s 26-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and afterwards said he was planning to return in Week 7.

Sunday’s defeat marked Dallas’ only setback since the season opener.

Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to four consecutive wins in place of Prescott, completing 61.9 per cent of his passes for 775 yards for an average of 7.4 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 97.1 passer rating.

He looked a bit shaky this past weekend, however, completing 47.4 per cent of his 38 attempts for 181 yards and an average of 4.8 yards per pass with a TD throw and three picks for a 37.3 rating.

Prescott, however, also struggled in Week 1, completing 48.3 per cent of his 29 attempts for 134 yards and an average of 4.6 yards per throw with one interception and a 47.2 rating.

Dak Prescott cannot grip a football, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but as soon as he is healthy enough to play, Cooper Rush will be headed back to the bench – regardless of how many wins he has racked up.

Rush will reportedly make his fourth straight start since Prescott suffered a fracture near his right thumb in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener.

Jones said during an interview with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that Prescott’s surgically repaired thumb is improving but he cannot grip a football “well enough to play.”

So that means Rush will get the call against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Cowboys have won all three games with Rush under center, and although just less than two weeks ago Jones said he would welcome a quarterback controversy between the two because that meant the team was winning, he walked back on that idea Tuesday.

Jones was asked when Prescott is deemed healthy, would the Cowboys stick with Rush if he continues to pile up victories.

"No. No. As I see it right today," Jones said.

The undrafted Rush has completed 55 of 89 passes (61.8 percent) for 673 yards while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions in those three consecutive victories. 

With Sunday’s 25-10 win over the Washington Commanders, Rush became the first quarterback in franchise history to win his first four career starts.

Jones admitted that he never thought the Cowboys would have beaten the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and Commanders in the last three weeks.

“No. No, I did not,” he said.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that Prescott would need to put in an entire week of practice before he could play, and Jones remains hopeful he will be back practicing before long.

"I don't know that you could ask for better news technically, physically in how it's responding, how it's healing so to speak," Jones said.

"So all of those things are on go and I don't know that as we bid bye to each day if considering the injury, considering the location of the injury, I don't know that you could make any more progress.

"There's some things here about healing that again I often say only the man upstairs knows how that works, but he'll have a big week and he'll be hard on himself getting it ready to go."

Cooper Rush became the first quarterback in the history of the Dallas Cowboys franchise to win his first four career starts on Sunday, earning praise from team owner Jerry Jones following a 25-10 victory over the Washington Commanders. 

Rush, however, could once again find himself backing up Dak Prescott next week with the two-time Pro Bowl selection getting closer to returning from a thumb injury. 

The Cowboys have won all three games with Rush under center after Prescott sustained a fractured right thumb in a season-opening 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 11. 

The undrafted Rush has completed 55 of 89 passes (61.8 percent) for 673 yards while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions in those three consecutive victories. 

"I can't say enough about his play," Jones said. "What it has possibly done for this team this season to give us a chance to sit here after these last three ball games and maybe have the opportunity we've got for the rest of the year. 

"It's amazing. It's far more than what I would've expected." 

Jones has said that Prescott will return as the starter once healthy, but he isn’t sure when that will be despite recent reports that it could happen next week when Dallas visits the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. 

"I can't give you anything there medically," Jones said after Sunday's win. "I don't think anyone knows how he's going to grip the ball but certainly, we feel a lot better the way Cooper is playing, the way our team is playing." 

Quarterback controversies don’t usually benefit anyone, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would not mind if his team became embroiled in one.

With Dak Prescott currently sidelined by thumb surgery, Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to a 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and will be the starter again Monday night against the New York Giants. Rush has won both of his career starts on final-minute drives.

Jones' hope is that Rush plays so well that it will not be completely clear cut that Prescott would get his job back when he’s healthy, which could be as soon as October 2 against the Washington Commanders.

"Of course I would. Of course. That means we’d have won," Jones said. "If he comes in there and plays as well as Prescott played, Rush? Played that well over these next games ahead? I’d walk to New York to get that."

There is precedent in Dallas for an injured quarterback to lose his job. In 2016, Prescott, then a rookie, filled in for an injured Tony Romo and led the Cowboys to a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. Romo never regained his starting job.

"Well, of course we want Dak to be here next week," Jones said. "That’s the thing. You do. But Dak and I want Rush to lead the team to a victory here and get another win and get another win. That’s the only way to look at it. Looking back when Dak was playing instead of Tony, it was game by game. It wasn’t the long look we had after two months to look back."

Regardless of how well Rush plays, the Cowboys last year signed Prescott to a four-year, $160million contract extension that includes $126m in guaranteed money. That would be a massive amount of money to pay for a backup quarterback.

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has put his expectations for 2022 firmly on the agenda, saying they need a viable playoff run for a successful season.

The Cowboys had a hugely disappointing first-round home playoff loss last season, going down 23-17 to the San Francisco 49ers after earning the third seed in the NFC.

Long-time Cowboys owner Jones, who turns 80 in October, said they were in better shape for a Super Bowl push this season compared to last, fuelling the expectations on Mike McCarthy's side.

"Well, I need to win it. I need to win it, but I'll be candid with you, there's degrees," Jones told reporters on Tuesday on the first day of the Cowboys' training camp.

"I want to be fair to everybody concerned. We need to be in the playoffs. We need to be viable in the playoffs for it to be a successful season."

He added with a touch of humour: "I told them I've got a birthday coming up here real quick and I don't have time to have a bad time. It ain't on my schedule."

Amari Cooper, La'el Collins and Randy Gregory have all departed the Cowboys in the off-season.

"(Last year) we had it teed up pretty good, and in my mind we made a hell of a run at it," Jones said.

"I think we're in better shape today to make a run at it than when we were sitting here this time last year.

"I thought last year we had a chance to make a heck of a run at it and had people in place that if we were healthy enough, we might get 'em. And I think we're in better shape."

Jones also threw his support behind McCarthy, who has been Dallas' head coach since 2020, finishing his first season with a 6-10 record and missing the playoffs.

"I want to be real clear: He wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't think he was the man to lead this team to a Super Bowl," Jones said.

Jones added: "I like this staff. And frankly, I like the makeup of the players one year later that were on this team last year and I like the new players that we've brought on."

Jerry Jones has explained Amari Cooper's trade to the Cleveland Browns, claiming the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap could be "better spent" elsewhere.

Cooper signed a five-year, $100million contract extension with the Cowboys in 2020, coming off four Pro Bowl appearances in his first five seasons in the NFL.

But the wide receiver struggled to live up to that salary, which made him the highest-paid player at his position in 2021.

Cooper's $22m accounted for 10.5 per cent of the Cowboys' cap, with only defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence taking up more.

Despite that, Cooper ranked just 30th among receivers for catches (68) and receiving yards (865) and tied 12th for receiving touchdowns (eight).

Heading into 2022, Jones and the Cowboys pondered the merits of committing league-leading money to a player they were targeting with just 104 passes last year – tied for 32nd at his position.

"To be fair, we let Cooper go down the road," Jones explained. "That was our decision.

"That wasn't made to depreciate the team. At the end of the day, it is a financial allocation toward the talent, and you've got to consider availability, and that sometimes departs from the best route runner.

"We had to look hard at the 10 or 11 players who are getting two-thirds of the money. We have to make sure every one those players are pulling as much weight as you can, because of the economic emphasis. That is a big part of what's on the field.

"How much were they there, how many snaps they get, how much production did you get. That is always going to be under scrutiny. It should be."

Ultimately, Jones said, the Cowboys "made a decision that that allocation should be better spent".

Cowboys fans might still have hoped to get more in return for a player for whom they parted with a first-round draft pick – which became safety Johnathan Abram – in a 2018 trade with the then Oakland Raiders.

The Browns sent a fifth-round 2022 selection to Dallas, along with a pick swap in the sixth round.

"We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade," Jones said.

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