Football Purists, Rejoice: Mike McCarthy Fined Again For OTA Practices That Were Too Physical

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Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said yesterday that head coach Mike McCarthy will be fined $100,000 by the NFL for holding practices deemed too physical by the NFL.

McCarthy was fined $50,000 for the same reason last offseason, but the sum doubled this time because he’s a repeat offender. Last year, the Cowboys were also pegged $100,000 for McCarthy’s overly physical practices. This time around, McCarthy took the brunt of the fine while the team avoided any financial punishment.

Dallas will also lose one scheduled OTA in 2023.

The practices in question came during last week’s voluntary OTAs, not at this week’s minicamp. It’s unclear what exactly caught commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s eye about these practices that warranted the slap on the wrist, just that there was too much physicality.

McCarthy made headlines earlier this week when he decided to shorten this week’s three-day minicamp to one-day, opting to give his players rest and letting them partake in team building activities. One of which being a team trip to Top Golf, which would make for some good swing analysis if any of it was filmed.

The Cowboys players will now return home before reconvening in Oxnard, California in late July for training camp. 

The team will need the rest, because things get busy once training camp gets started. Dallas will hold joint practices with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers before facing each team in the preseason.

Is Mike McCarthy’s fine a big deal?

For McCarthy and his family, maybe. He could’ve spent that money on a new car, a nice vacation or a new set of golf clubs.

But for the team, not so much. 

OTAs aren’t mandatory, so no fine is handed down if a player is absent. But players are fined for missing minicamp, which was held this week.

Both sessions of practice are opportunities for players to learn schemes and build chemistry with their teammates. They’re especially useful for rookies or newly acquired veterans to come comfortable in their new systems.

One thing to note is linebacker Devante Bond’s knee injury during OTAs that will require surgery and end his season. It’s unclear if his injury came during one of these overly physical practices that McCarthy was fined for. Bond spent last season on Dallas’ practice squad but was fighting for a spot on the Cowboys 53-man roster going into 2022.

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