The Dallas Cowboys are as healthy as a roster can be this late in the season, but they received unexpected news on the injury front Wednesday when it was announced Mike McCarthy underwent surgery after he suffered from acute appendicitis.
McCarthy experienced abdominal pain Wednesday morning and went for evaluation. He's expected to be released later today, but Cowboys fans understandably feared the worst about his status for Sunday night's mammoth rematch against the 10-2 Philadelphia Eagles.
The winner of the matchup will take the lead in the NFC East, though the Eagles ultimately control their own destiny in that regard.
Dan Quinn took over media duties in McCarthy's stead. With doubts swirling about McCarthy's availability for Sunday night, Quinn offered an uplifting quote that hints the head coach will recover in time for the game.
Dan Quinn believes Mike McCarthy will coach the Cowboys on Sunday despite appendicitis surgery
That is a big relief for the Cowboys, though it's certainly not ideal that the team is preparing for Sunday's game against the Eagles -- which will determine Dallas' fate in the NFC East race -- without its head coach.
The thought of McCarthy missing the game entirely is a terrifying one.
With McCarthy calling the shots, the Cowboys boast the league's highest-scoring offense this season. They're first in scoring with 32.3 points per game and fifth with 380.4 yards per game under McCarthy's tutelage.
McCarthy's sideline presence alone is significant, but Dallas abruptly switching play-callers before its biggest game of the season could be devastating. Assuming offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would fill in as play-caller, there's no telling how that might impact Dak Prescott, who's playing arguably the best ball of his career in McCarthy's Texas Coast offense.
Luckily, it doesn't sound like this procedure will be enough to keep McCarthy from coaching on Sunday.
While Quinn's update did do a lot to ground an unnerved fan base, there's no sense in jumping to conclusions. We wish McCarthy a speedy recovery and hope he can be out there Sunday night. His health is obviously the chief concern here.