Is sizzling seat truthful to Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy as key accidents proceed to mount? – Dallas Cowboys Weblog
FRISCO, Texas — It was the seventeenth query of the information convention, about 7 minutes, 50 seconds in, after the Dallas Cowboys’ Sunday night time 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Earlier than the season there was a story on the market with you being on the new seat,” a reporter requested coach Mike McCarthy. “After a efficiency like this, do you are feeling that strain vacillate?”
“I’m 0-1, we’re 0-1 as a soccer workforce,” McCarthy mentioned. “Clearly, I received slightly extra work to do popping out of this recreation than I would love, however that’s our enterprise.”
Pretty or not, every week will likely be a referendum on McCarthy’s speedy and long-term future. That was the most important storyline coming into the season after a disappointing finish to the 2021 marketing campaign with a house playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers in January.
With the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals visiting AT&T on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), McCarthy will look to keep away from his first 0-2 begin since his first yr with the Green Bay Packers (2006).
Now he must do it with out beginning quarterback Dak Prescott, who had proper thumb surgical procedure on Monday. Prescott’s return is unsure, though proprietor and common supervisor Jerry Jones mentioned on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas throughout the week that the quarterback might return inside 4 weeks. Earlier than the surgical procedure, sources mentioned Prescott would want six to eight weeks to get well.
If the Cowboys lose to Cincinnati, the McCarthy speak will solely intensify, regardless of Jones’ declaration at first of coaching camp.
“I need to be actual clear: He would not be sitting right here in the present day if I did not assume he was the person to guide this workforce to a Tremendous Bowl,” Jones mentioned in July.
However ought to McCarthy be on the proverbial sizzling seat?
On the day he took the job in 2020, he thought he was inheriting an offensive line that included perennial Professional Bowlers in Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick, with a top-of-the-line proper sort out in La’el Collins.
They by no means performed a recreation collectively below McCarthy, with Frederick retiring earlier than the 2020 season.
McCarthy additionally was getting Prescott, who was seemingly getting into his prime. Within the fifth recreation of the 2020 season, Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his proper ankle. Final season, he missed one recreation with a calf pressure that affected him for many of the second half of the season.
And now the fractured thumb.
Sunday’s recreation towards the Bengals will likely be McCarthy’s thirty fifth in Dallas. Prescott can have missed 13 of them, and he might probably miss the following three video games, if no more.
“It’s soccer, it truly is,” McCarthy mentioned when requested if he felt like he hasn’t caught a break. “I’ve misplaced my beginning quarterback earlier than. It is unlucky. Frankly, my emotion goes to the particular person as a result of I understand how a lot these guys put into this. However yeah, it is all a part of the problem. It makes it much more sweeter once you get to the place you need to go.”
Whereas accidents can derail a season, McCarthy has famous on a number of events that his greatest second — successful Tremendous Bowl XLV — got here with the Packers needing 77 gamers that season. When the Cowboys finalized the roster this yr, he famous 10 rookies performed key roles in that Packers Tremendous Bowl victory.
It’d simply appear to be the Cowboys have had far too many offensive line combos below McCarthy. For the reason that begin of 2020, the Cowboys have used 43 completely different five-man items for at the least one snap collectively, in line with ESPN Stats & Data analysis. That ranks thirteenth within the NFL; the Philadelphia Eagles paved the way with 61.
Not solely is Prescott lacking Sunday’s recreation however so is security Jayron Kearse, who has a sprained left knee and led the Cowboys in tackles final season, and left guard Connor McGovern. Add to that, the Cowboys misplaced left sort out Tyron Smith till December with a torn hamstring in one of many last coaching camp practices.
“Dude, it’s the league, man,” tight finish Dalton Schultz mentioned. “[McCarthy] is like, ‘Pay attention, the blokes which are on this room, you’re going to play. In some unspecified time in the future one thing’s going to occur. You’re going to get a chance and also you’re going to be anticipated to play at a excessive stage.’”
Jones’ historical past must be factored into what may or won’t occur with McCarthy.
He has made one in-season teaching change since turning into the proprietor and common supervisor in 1989.
In 2010, the Cowboys received off to a 1-7 begin and Jones changed Wade Phillips with Jason Garrett. Coincidentally, the final recreation Phillips coached was a 45-7 debacle towards McCarthy’s Packers at Lambeau Area through which the trouble of a number of gamers got here into query.
Phillips was 10 months faraway from successful the NFC East and a playoff victory on the time of his dismissal. If this season goes in an analogous course, there may very well be one other parallel to 2010. Within the sixth recreation of that season, quarterback Tony Romo suffered what turned out to be a season-ending damaged collarbone.
None of that historical past issues to the gamers. Not one of the outdoors noise actually issues. What issues is successful towards Cincinnati.
“Clearly we’re below a microscope, and that’s positive,” Martin mentioned. “I believe guys perceive that. It’s a part of the sport. Everybody offers with accidents. Sure, it’s unlucky that some guys haven’t been on the market, that Dak’s been damage a bunch. However we’re not the one workforce coping with accidents, and it’s as much as the gamers actually. I believe we are able to do a greater job of sort of rising to the event when sure guys are out. It’s not all on the coaches. It’s on the gamers having to take some accountability and actually choose up some slack.”