The Dallas Cowboys are one impressive onside kick away from being 0-4. Defensively, they’ve been the ugliest team in the NFL. They’ve been forced to play catch-up all season. Jerry Jones fired longtime head coach Jason Garrett at the end of the 2019 season and replaced him with former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy is making Garrett look like a genius.
Mike McCarthy struggling to get the Cowboys right
If there’s any good news for the Dallas Cowboys, it’s that Dak Prescott and the offense is rolling. The Cowboys quarterback has thrown for 974 yards in the last two games, the most ever in a two-game span in NFL history. Prescott has thrown for better than 450 yards in each of the last three games.
The bad news is the Cowboys defense has surrendered 38 or more points in each of the last three games. Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns scored an embarrassing 49 points on the Cowboys on Sunday. The Cowboys defense has been atrocious this season, forcing Prescott to play come-from-behind in every game.
If you’re a Cowboys fan and an optimist, there’s even more good news. The team is in first place despite that poor 1-3 record. For the second straight week, no team in the NFC East won. In fact, Dallas is the last team in the division to win a game. That came Week 2 when the Cowboys used a miraculous onside kick to finish off a wild comeback against the Atlanta Falcons.
Prescott not satisfied with individual accolades
Quarterback Dak Prescott would gladly trade his individual numbers for wins. Prescott has put up record-setting passing numbers during the first four weeks of the season, but the team stands at 1-3. He has had to play from behind each week as his team’s defense has been torched.
Prescott has thrown for 1,424 yards in the last three games, the most ever during a three-game stretch in league history. During that stretch, Dallas is 1-2. He’s not satisfied with his numbers without team success. “I’d give all those yards back for a different record,” Prescott said, according to ESPN. “I care about one stat and that’s to win, so when we don’t do that no other stats matter.”
Despite the defense giving up a season-high 49 points to the Cleveland Browns, Prescott said he was also partly to blame with a couple of turnovers. We just can’t do that,” Prescott said. “Simple as that. We’ve got back-to-back possessions, turn the ball over and put our defense in a compromising situation. That’s unacceptable. That’s not complementary football. It’ll hurt you. You get down in the game and forced to play outside the way we want to play.”
Mike McCarthy getting Jason Garrett off the hook
Longtime head coach Jason Garrett was fired by the Dallas Cowboys at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Garrett was the scapegoat of a franchise that failed to make the playoffs after an 8-8 season last year. Garrett was replaced by longtime Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who has a successful run with the Packers but struggled his last couple of seasons.
McCarthy is getting Garrett off the hook. In Garrett’s 10 seasons with the Cowboys, he had one losing season. The Cowboys went 4-12 during the 2015 season. Four times, the Garrett-led Cowboys finished with an 8-8 season. At this point, McCarthy would likely do anything for a .500 season. Garrett never started a season 1-3.
McCarthy is an offensive-minded coach and the offense isn’t the problem. the defense has been the issue for the Cowboys, but with McCarthy in charge of the team, it becomes his problem. McCarthy had a very good run in Green Bay but ended his career there with two losing seasons. He lost control of the team and was fired before the end of the 2018 season. His losing ways have continued with the Cowboys and it’s happening in embarrassing fashion.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.