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Mike McCarthy inspired Dallas Cowboys by smashing watermelons, a la comic Gallagher – ESPN

FRISCO, Texas — If the Dallas Cowboys are able to save their season and make the playoffs, perhaps they will thank Gallagher.

Looking for a way to inspire his team before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, coach Mike McCarthy took a page out of the longtime prop comic’s book and smashed a number of watermelons with a sledgehammer at the Saturday night meeting. A number of players also joined in as McCarthy looked to hammer home points of emphasis.

Ultimately, the Cowboys won 31-28, snapping a four-game losing streak and improving to 3-7. With a win Thursday against the Washington Football Team, they would move into first place in the NFC East, at least temporarily.

“It was just all part of the messaging,” McCarthy said. “We had a number of points of emphasis that we were trying to hit, so a number of guys got to participate, and once again I’d say it was a lot of fun. It was well received.”

Not only was the sledgehammer brought on the team plane — “That’s the beauty of flying charter,” McCarthy said jokingly — so were the watermelons.

“We had to actually take our own watermelons with us because it’s a little harder to find big watermelons in Minneapolis this time of year than Dallas, from what I was told,” McCarthy said. “So a lot of planning goes into that, and most importantly, we were able to get it done right and the cleanup was efficient. The hotel was a little concerned there.”

As coach of the Green Bay Packers, McCarthy had his players’ ring fingers sized the night before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

“I’ve always tried to be creative throughout my time and I’ve been doing it a long time, so you are looking for new ideas, keeping it fresh,” he said. “This is our first year together — we’re getting later in the season. It’s just once again, it all fits together.”

McCarthy said he has never seen Gallagher (full name Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr.) perform, but he might keep the bit going just out of superstition.

“That’s a great question,” he said. “We’ll see if it leaks out because it is my team meetings. What happens in the team meeting stays there. Yeah, definitely, we obviously have been fighting and scratching. The players have been great. So hey, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

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