To no surprise, Dallas Cowboys fans are cautiously — but far from overwhelmingly — optimistic about head coach Mike McCarthy.
In a new survey conducted by The Athletic’s Jon Machota, 36.4% of fans define themselves as “somewhat confident” in McCarthy, because the team “can’t be any worse” than last season’s 6-10 outfit.
Over 10% of the 1,362 voters fall into the “not confident” category, believing Dallas needs to “start looking for their next head coach.”
The majority (48.8%) comprises the “confident” category as these fans “expect the team to be much better in [McCarthy’s] second season.”
“Only 58 of the 1,362 voters were ‘very confident’ that McCarthy will eventually get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl,” Machota wrote. “An underwhelming 6-10 finish in his first season obviously didn’t do much to boost confidence from the fan base. Maybe better overall team health and a different defensive coordinator will help get things back on track.”
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McCarthy on Hot Seat?
Back in April, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay gauged each NFL head coach’s job security heading into the 2021 season. A former Super Bowl winner, McCarthy’s seat was labeled as “hot” following a highly disappointing inaugural campaign in Dallas.
The Mike McCarthy era in Dallas got off to a terrible start when the team failed to make the postseason in a year that the NFC East sent 7-9 Washington to the playoffs.
While losing quarterback Dak Prescott—who finally signed an extension this offseason to bring stability to the position—early in the year didn’t help, there was a clear regression by the offense even though the Cowboys employed one of the top backup signal-callers in the league in Andy Dalton.
McCarthy clearly deserves another chance, but he can’t afford to flounder out of the gate for an organization that expects nothing short of a Super Bowl run.
The Cowboys extended Prescott and kept the veteran head coach to win now. They need to have a good draft to fill in the holes on the roster—offensive tackle and tight end are two areas of concern still—but should have all the pieces in place soon enough to win a wide-open division. Failing to do so will likely result in Jerry Jones’ handing McCarthy a pink slip rather than giving him another chance in 2022.
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Fans Higher on Quinn Hire
Coming off a year when the Cowboys’ defense surrendered the most points in franchise history, participants of Machota’s straw poll exuded confidence in new coordinator Dan Quinn.
Out of 1,356 responders, 41.4% said they “love it [and] there wasn’t a better candidate” to replace Mike Nolan, while 45.7% said “there are others I wanted, but I think he’ll do a good job.” Only 12.5% of fans are “not impressed” with the hire.
“The defense can’t be any worse than it was in 2020, can it?” Machota wrote. “It seems like the majority of fans are on board with Dan Quinn as the new defensive coordinator. If he’s able to turn this group back into a respectable unit that also continues to take away the ball, his approval rating should be very high in next year’s survey.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL