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McCarthy: Goal is to have Cooper, Cobb back with 'Boys

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike McCarthy is back in the NFL and as he learns his new surroundings, he's hoping to bring along a familiar face and a key talent.

McCarthy spoke Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine and was firm in his thoughts about the Cowboys' receiving situation, which is uncertain with Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb headed to free agency. The transition would be easier with those two in the fold, of course.

"Definitely. The goal is to have both of those guys back," McCarthy said. "(Cooper) did a lot of great things on tape and he really looks like he's in sync with Dak [Prescott]. I'd even say Randall even more. I was very impressed with Randall last year. He was banged up a couple years prior to that, but I thought he had a heck of a season last year in Dallas. I was very impressed with him."

Statistically, Cobb had his best season since the middle of the decade, catching 55 passes for 828 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games (six starts). The veteran silenced the thought he might be over the hill with his play in a group headlined by Cooper and supplemented by the likes of Michael Gallup and Tavon Austin.

Cooper is the big fish in this situation, a highly coveted receiver who will command top dollar on the free-agent market in March. With Prescott also needing a new contract, Cooper is near the top, but not priority No. 1. Priority 1B is still highly important, especially if McCarthy hopes to hit the ground running with this talented offense in 2020.

McCarthy offered updates on the situation of a few other key players:

»McCarthy doesn't have much of a history of rolling with a lead back from his time in Green Bay, but he's got a heck of a bell cow in Dallas in Ezekiel Elliott. McCarthy discussed the exciting possibilities of running the read-option with Prescott and Elliott -- something we've already seen in Dallas in past seasons -- but the more important part was about McCarthy's past reliance on the quarterback, and while he does believe in the need for multiple backs, that won't affect how he values a talent like Elliott.

"As far as your playmakers, you've got five premier positions, obviously running back is one of them," McCarthy said. "You get the ball to your playmakers. Zeke will touch the football plenty in our offense."

»McCarthy said he's communicated with linebacker Sean Lee and tight end Jason Witten (both free agents), getting a chance to sit down with the latter recently to talk about "a number of things." He offered little more than that, saying "we'll see how it shakes out."

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