Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he “” with coach Mike McCarthy ahead of their Super Wild Card Weekend matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Now, in the wake of Green Bay embarrassing the Cowboys 48-32 on Sunday, handing America’s Team its second one-and-done playoff run in three years, Jones could move quickly to send McCarthy packing.
McCarthy, 60, has led the Cowboys to three straight 12-5 seasons, ranking No. 32 in NFL history with 167 career wins. But he’s now guided just a single postseason victory in four years atop Dallas’ staff, and hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2017 campaign — or six calendar years ago — with the Packers. This despite the Cowboys entering Sunday’s game as touchdown favorites over visiting Green Bay (9-8), which didn’t clinch a playoff spot until Week 18.
Ever quick to comment on his franchise’s state of affairs, Jones has publicly played both sides when addressing McCarthy’s standing in recent years, both defending the coach’s impact and leaving the door open for a change. He notably declined to commit to McCarthy beyond the playoffs prior to Sunday’s contest, saying “we’ll see how each game goes.”
It’s not a stretch to suggest Jones won’t put a satisfactory stamp on Sunday’s historic flop, in which Dallas fell behind 27-0 despite entering with the NFL’s leading touchdown-thrower in Dak Prescott, one of the NFL’s most prolific receivers in CeeDee Lamb, and a highly touted No. 5-ranked defense that earned coordinator Dan Quinn several head coaching interview invites.
That’s the rub with McCarthy’s Cowboys; they’ve never lacked for talent and regular-season production, but those things have yet to translate to big-stage results. Prescott drew MVP buzz this fall and winter for throwing 36 scores while feeding Lamb, who trailed only Tyreek Hill in receiving yards (1,749). Star pass rusher Micah Parsons hit a career-high 14 sacks en route to a third straight All-Pro nod. McCarthy’s play-calling even kept the ship sailing after offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s departure last offseason.
And what did it ultimately produce? A 16-point loss against a wild-card team whose QB, Jordan Love, was making his first career playoff start after his first season as a full-timer. The fact it was McCarthy’s old team, the Packers, that delivered the blow is just salt in the wound. Perhaps even more troubling is the postseason history that came before for McCarthy’s Cowboys. Dallas went one-and-done against the 49ers in 2021, then fell to San Francisco again in 2022, in the divisional round.
McCarthy’s all-time track record may be safe; his 11 playoff wins still rank in the top 10 all time, and he’ll always be responsible for bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay. But saying anything of his is safe in Dallas after Sunday? That’d be a mistake.