The Dallas Cowboys have built a reputation for disappointing in the playoffs. It’s kind of their thing. However, this year felt different. They won 12 games, were at home, had a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Mike McCarthy, and rostered one of the best offenses in the NFL.
Dallas was also facing the San Francisco 49ers during the Wild Card Round, an opponent most analysts felt it could beat.
Obviously, the Cowboys failed to live up to the hype, and they exited the playoffs early once more. Since then, blame has been cast in all different directions in an attempt to figure out who’s fault it was.
Mike McCarthy is getting a lot of criticism
The Cowboys lost last weekend for several reasons. They started the game off slow, failed to get WR CeeDee Lamb the ball consistently, etc. However, head coach Mike McCarthy is at the crux of frustrated Cowboys fans’ complaints.
The long-time Green Bay Packers signal-caller green-lit a quarterback draw with 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and no timeouts. Quarterback Dak Prescott failed to get the ball to the official after sliding, causing the game clock to expire. The Cowboys lost the game 23-17 without ever trying to tie things up by way of a shot to the end zone.
It’s still unclear whose idea the quarterback draw was. However, McCarthy is the head coach and is ultimately in charge of making crucial decisions. The Cowboys certainly didn’t hire him to stand by while his offensive coordinator draws up controversial play designs with the season on the line.
Mike McCarthy is queuing up excuse after excuse for the Cowboys’ loss
Since the moment the post-game questions began following the Cowboys’ embarrassing home loss, McCarthy has been queuing up excuse after excuse. First, he blamed the official for not spotting the ball quickly enough on that final QB draw, even though Prescott failed to hand him the ball after sliding. Now, McCarthy is blaming his players for having pregame jitters.
“I thought we were nervous to start the game,” said McCarthy via The Dallas Morning News. “I felt it in the locker room at the team prayer … Let me take the word ‘nervous’ back. It was a little angst … I just think it was the first time we were doing this as a whole.”
Unfortunately for McCarthy, he can’t just “take back” the word nervous. The damage has been done. He revealed his true feelings about how his players approached the playoff game mentally.
Where do the Cowboys go from here?
The ironic part to all of this is that Dallas hired McCarthy to be a calming presence in its locker room. The team wanted someone who’d been there and done that. Instead, McCarthy blames everyone else around him as opposed to taking responsibility for his team’s lack of preparation.
That’s not ideal.
Should the Cowboys fire McCarthy? Probably. Will they? Probably not. Instead, Dallas is likely stuck with at least one more season of McCarthy and his endless finger-pointing.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.