Former head coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan knows all about guarantees. He made several in his career and failed to back up any of them. This is likely why he warned Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy about making guarantees.
McCarthy’s team went out and backed up his guarantee, but it wasn’t in impressive fashion. While the Dallas defense was extraordinary in a 27-20 win over the Washington Football Team, the offense provided more questions than answers.
Rex Ryan didn’t like Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy’s guarantee
During his Thursday press conference before Sunday’s NFC East battle against the Washington Football Team, Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy guaranteed a win for his team.
“We’re going to win this game,” McCarthy told the assembled media. “I’m confident about that.”
During the week, there was plenty of debate about whether that was a smart declaration or not. One of the last pundits to weigh in on that was former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown co-host didn’t mince words giving McCarthy some unsolicited advice:
Dumb comment. No coach should make a comment like that. No. Nooo, no, no. Don’t you do it.Rex Ryan on Mike McCarthy’s guarantee
Ryan knows from experience that making guarantees and not living up to them can be tough. The outspoken former coach made multiple guarantees about making the Super Bowls with the New York Jets. He also guaranteed a Super Bowl when he started with the Buffalo Bills.
While he does have a Super Bowl ring from his time as the defensive line coach with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, he never took a team to the Big Game as a head coach. He got the closest in 2009 and 2010, losing both seasons in the AFC Championship Games.
After his comments on Sunday morning, the Dallas Cowboys went out and put Ryan on the wrong side of a guarantee yet again, backing up their own coach (albeit in nail-biting fashion).
The Cowboys did, in fact, win the game as McCarthy predicted
In the first half, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys would roll the Washington Football Team and back up their coach in impressive style.
The Dallas D was incredible in the first 30 minutes. Defensive end Randy Gregory made an incredible batted, spinning interception to set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown. Then, rookie revelation Micah Parsons strip-sacked Taylor Heinicke, and Dorance Armstrong returned it for a 37-yard score.
The Cowboys took (what seemed like) a commanding 24-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Dak Prescott and the offensive could only muster three field goals when the defense didn’t set them up or score outright.
In the second half, the WFT fired back at the Cowboys, just like coach Ron Rivera fired back at Mike McCarthy mid-week.
Heinicke threw a stunning 43-yard TD to Cam Simms in the third, and Prescott threw a pick-six to Cole Holcomb in the fourth, and, before you knew it, the Football Team was one score down and driving with its backup QB Kyle Allen in for an injured Heinicke.
Luckily for Prescott and McCarthy, the Big D’s big D stepped up one more time at the end of the game. Gregory sacked Allen, who fumbled, trying to throw the ball as he was going down.
Dallas got the ball back, got one first down, and killed the clock from there. The fourth-quarter heroics from the Cowboys’ defense saved its coach from looking foolish.
Dallas needs to figure out its offense to make any noise in the playoffs
The Dallas Cowboys will definitely make the playoffs because, well, the NFC East.
However, if they hope to go further than a round, they need to figure out why their once high-powered offense is languishing in neutral lately.
Sunday against the WFT, Dak Prescott did not look good. He finished the game 22-of-39 for 211 yards with a TD and two INTs. The running game wasn’t great either. Ezekiel Elliott rushed 12 times for 45 yards, and Corey Clement — in for an injured Tony Pollard — had 13 carries for 44 yards.
CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup looked dangerous as always, but Prescott struggled getting them the ball. If Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can’t figure out how to turn the O around — even with a D playing at a Super Bowl-caliber level — the Cowboys could be one-and-done in the 2021 postseason.
Currently, the Cowboys are fourth in the NFC and (regardless of the result of Monday Night Football) would play the Los Angeles Rams in Round 1.
The Cowboys beating the Rams (or the San Francisco 49ers if they can overtake LA) isn’t inconceivable. What does defy imagination is the Cowboys going to Arizona, Green Bay, or Tampa Bay and winning a game with the way the offense is playing of late.
The good news for Cowboys fans is that there are still four games for Prescott and company to turn things around.
The big test will come in Week 17 when the Cowboys face off against the Cardinals in Jerry’s World. This game will show whether the ‘Boys are ready to play with the big boys in the postseason or if Dallas is headed to year 26 without a Lombardi Trophy.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference