Picking up a huge win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11, the Dallas Cowboys looked like a completely different team than what was displayed in their first nine games of 2020. Specifically, on the defensive side of the ball players showed a rejuvenated and bruising style of play.
Clearly, head coach Mike McCarthy and company found a way to inspire the team after a devastating 2-7 start. But how did he do it? Well, it included watermelons and a sledgehammer.
Yes, you are reading that right. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, McCarthy brought the props to the team's meeting on Saturday night. He felt as if the group still hadn't fully grasped just how aggressive he wanted them to be, especially when it came to containing star running back Dalvin Cook.
So, naturally, McCarthy began crushing watermelons with the sledgehammer to emphasize how the team needed to "smash" its objectives.
As out-there as the strategy was, it clearly had an impact on the players. Pelissero even noted that the team was so fired up that some began to join in on the madness.
“The players are roaring, McCarthy’s pants are soaked. Finally gets to the watermelon with Dalvin Cook’s picture on it, Demarcus Lawrence jumps up and goes ‘I got to get that one,'" Pelissero said. "He hands over the sledgehammer to Lawrence, he smashes that watermelon.”
That scene deserves to be seen in video form, and hopefully, it is out there somewhere. Whatever McCarthy did, it worked when it came to the performance on Sunday. Dallas was physical and flying to the ball, and Donovan Wilson's crushing hit that forced Cook to fumble was a prime example.
It's been a rough first year for McCarthy with the Cowboys, as early struggles had reports surfacing that he had the team unprepared and was losing the locker room. Yet, it appears that he's beginning to figure out how to motivate his team.
If this style really works, expect the watermelon business in Dallas to see an increase in the coming weeks.