However, just six games into his tenure, McCarthy already appears to have a locker-room crisis on his hands. In fact, Cowboys players just admitted the brutal truth about his coaching staff.
A tough start for Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy joined Dallas after spending a year away from football. Given his success with the Green Bay Packers, Cowboys fans had plenty of reason for optimism when Jones brought the 56-year-old on board.
Yet, it hasn’t taken long for that optimism to dissipate. While injuries certainly have played a major role in the Cowboys’ early-season struggles, the coaching staff has also failed to hold up its end of the burden.
In particular, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has done nothing to justify his hiring. The former San Francisco 49ers head coach last served as a DC in 2014 with the Atlanta Falcons. Apparently, there’s a reason why he’s never been entrusted to run a defense since then.
Currently, Dallas ranks dead-last in points allowed at 36.3 points per game. Nolan’s unit ranks 31st against the run (177.3 yards per game) and has generated just three turnovers.
Even though the team lost Gerald McCoy to a season-ending injury before the year started, the Cowboys still have plenty of talent up front. However, the coaching staff has been unable to find a way to generate a pass rush. Take away Aldon Smith’s team-leading four sacks, and the Cowboys have totaled just seven through six games.
Cowboys players just admitted the brutal truth about their coaches
Coming off an embarrassing 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football, it looks like discontent is brewing in Dallas. In fact, it seems as though Mike McCarthy may have already lost the locker room before the midway point of his first season working for Jerry Jones.
On Tuesday, the NFL Network’s Jane Slater revealed some interesting details from her discussions with Cowboys players, who did not hold back in admitting the brutal truth about McCarthy’s coaching staff.
“This coaching staff is totally unprepared,” an unnamed player told Slater. “They don’t teach. They don’t have sense of adjusting on the fly.”
The shots didn’t stop there.
“They just aren’t good at their jobs,” another unnamed player told Slater.
Obviously, these comments don’t look good for a coaching staff that just took over this year. Dallas hasn’t even made it to its bye week yet and it looks like the players have already made it clear that they don’t believe in their coaches. Ultimately, this adds yet another intriguing layer to a difficult season for the Cowboys.
Did Dallas make a mistake by hiring McCarthy?
Clearly, Cowboys players have strong feelings about Mike McCarthy’s coaching staff. By admitting the brutal truth about their coaches, it puts more focus on Jerry Jones’ decision to hire McCarthy in the first place.
On paper, McCarthy has a respectable resume. But while he did lead Green Bay to eight consecutive playoff appearances, the Packers never advanced past the NFC Championship after winning a Super Bowl title in 2010. He routinely made questionable decisions late in games that probably cost Aaron Rodgers another ring or two.
Still, Jones didn’t waste much time making McCarthy Garrett’s successor. And while he still has time to prove otherwise, it certainly seems like bringing in the ex-Packers coach has not paid off quite like Jones expected.
So what should the Cowboys owner do?
It might be time to make a change to the staff by getting rid of Nolan. At the very least, it would send a strong message to the locker room that poor job performances won’t be tolerated.
On the other hand, Jones and McCarthy would run the risk of letting the players think they “won” by calling out the coaching staff and forcing Dallas to make a change.
At this point, can the Cowboys salvage their season and find a way to come together? Or will more losses lead to more locker-room discontent?
You can always count on Jerry Jones’ team to keep things interesting.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.