No matter how closely you look at the 2020 Dallas Cowboys campaign, it’s tough to find too many positives. The team’s record is pretty bad; their on-field performances may be even worse. Head coach Mike McCarthy, however, keeps doing his part to make things even tougher on Cowboys fans.
After the Dallas Cowboys suffered another brutal defeat on Sunday, Mike McCarthy faced the music during his media availability. While the head coach had the chance to put his spin on the game, he only managed to send a terrible message to fans of America’s Team.
The Dallas Cowboys season keeps getting worse
When you’re sitting at 2-5, there probably isn’t much to be positive about. The Dallas Cowboys, however, seem to be getting worse and worse with each paying week.
When the season began, the main talking point was the Dallas Cowboys defense; despite Dak Prescott’s heroics, the team seemingly couldn’t surrender anything less than 35 points per game. While the defense is still pretty terrible, the problems have only multiplied.
Dak Prescott, of course, suffered a gruesome ankle fracture and will miss the remainder of the season; since he was playing on a franchise tag, it’s unclear if he’ll ever play for the Dallas Cowboys again. Andy Dalton replaced him under center and struggled. The Red Rifle, however, suffered a concussion on Saturday, knocking him out of the game. At this point, it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play in Week 8.
Perhaps the biggest condemnation, however, is that even in the awful NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys seem completely out of the race. While even the smallest winning streak could catapult the club back into contention, even that feels impossible at this point.
Mike McCarthy isn’t ready to shake up his coaching staff just yet
After a disappointing 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys and Jason Garrett finally parted ways. In his first seven games on the job, however, Mike McCarthy hasn’t exactly turned things around.
While there’s plenty to take issue with in Dallas, McCarthy has shouldered at least some of the blame for the Cowboys’ abysmal defense; while he isn’t directly in charge of the unit, he did handpick Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator.
On Sunday, Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram “asked McCarthy if speculation about a change at defensive coordinator, given how poorly that unit has played, is valid or out of line.” The head coach, however, wasn’t biting.
“It hasn’t crossed my mind,” he said. “I’m focused on getting better each and every day. So, you know, that’s where we are.”
“We’ve had so much change just in our everyday function,” McCarthy continued. “The important thing is to stay the course. This is a process and we’re not where we want to be. … We’ll continue to work and I do believe we’ll turn this in the right direction.”
Mike McCarthy just failed to send the right message to Dallas Cowboys fans
In Mike McCarthy’s defense, there’s something to be said for putting on a happy face in public and figuring things out behind closed doors; it would be unrealistic to expect him to throw his coordinator under the bus in a postgame press conference. With that being said, though, the Dallas Cowboys head coach is doing a pretty awful job of speaking directly to the fans.
For a coach who said that his anonymous critics needed to “handle things as men” and was disappointed that no one reacted to Andy Dalton taking a cheap shot, McCarthy doesn’t seem too fired up; in his story, Engles even referred to the coach as “Melatonin Mike,” which gives you a glimpse into the public sentiment.
While it might sound cynical, coaches and general managers have to play the public relations game; no fan wants to feel like their team is being run by people who don’t care. The public wants a plan to buy into, not platitudes about working hard and trying to improve.
Mike McCarthy, however, is struggling in that aspect of his job, too. Even if he doesn’t plan on making changes—which is an entirely different conversation—the head coach is giving the impression that the Dallas Cowboys are doing all the right things and simply coming up a bit short on Sundays. If you’ve watched the team play, it’s clear that isn’t the case.
After the Dallas Cowboy fell to the Washington Football Team, Mike McCarthy’s press conferenced added insult to injury. At best, the head coach is naive about the state of his club; at worst, he’s willfully ignorant and unwilling to make the tough changes necessary to improve. Either way, he’s sending a terrible message to Cowboys fans everywhere and failing at an important part of his job.