Was there anything wrong with Mike McCarthy’s watermelon motivation?
On the surface, not so much. McCarthy was using watermelons as symbolism for hammering the ball out of Dalvin Cook’s hands, forcing fumbles in the process — hence the sledgehammer and full-on Gallagher impression. Cool, but still kinda weird.
McCarthy explained himself: “It’s important to have fun,” McCarthy told reporters Monday, per The Athletic. “We were just using the approach, honoring the great comedian Gallagher. The players were into it. We had some fun.”
Simple enough, but it’s doubtful McCarthy’s attempt at comedy had much of a lasting impact on the Cowboys. Sure, it’ll be a story they tell long after their playing days, but I’d be surprised if a single Cowboys player got “force more fumbles” out of McCarthy smashing a watermelon.
Shannon Sharpe thought McCarthy’s actions had an entirely different meaning
Sharpe stated that McCarthy should’ve used a different fruit, rather than watermelon, due to its stereotype associated with the black community. While it’s unlikely McCarthy intended this consequence to make the headlines, First Things First went there.
The Cowboys ended up winning the game, but McCarthy’s efforts had very little to do with his team’s overall performance defensively. Cook had 115 yards on the ground, paired with a touchdown, good for 4.7 yards per carry. That’s a respectable statline and then some for Cook, who wasn’t remotely intimidated by McCarthy’s Gallagher act.
Much could be made of Sharpe’s reaction, but with Thanksgiving around the corner, Dallas’ next game against Washington looms large. The winner will, at least for the time being, hold the lead in the putrid NFC East.