The Dallas Cowboys are entering an important season, but one name sticks out in terms of the pressure of winning: head coach Mike McCarthy.
After two seasons in Dallas, McCarthy has zero playoff wins and 18-16 record under the former Green Bay Packers head coach. McCarthy’s Super Bowl win with the Packers was a big part of his resume when he joined, but the Cowboys are yet to see any playoff success.
After an offseason of chatter, McCarthy addressed rumors and speculation that he could be fired if this season isn’t successful.
“It’s irritating that the first question you ask me has nothing to do with how I do my job,’’ McCarthy said according to The Dallas Morning News. “I show up every day for work to win a championship. How do we win today? That’s what I’m asking… My viewpoint is it’s not a story. It’s a media-driven narrative, or at least a narrative driven outside my realm.’’
It’s a strong response from McCarthy, but an understandable one as no coach wants to hear they are on the “hot seat” before training camp begins. That being said, it’s no wonder McCarthy is facing media and fan pressure due to the team’s performances.
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McCarthy Received Warning from Jason Garrett
Interestingly enough, former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the exact topic of hot seat rumors earlier in this season. Garrett visited The Rich Eisen Show in late June, and offered some advice for McCarthy.
“Well I think the biggest thing for any head coach and really for any player in the NFL, is really just focus on yourself and what you need to do to be your best,” Garrett explained. “And I know that’s a cliche, and everyone thinks oh blah it’s coach speak and all of that, but it’s so true. And it’s so true certainly in a place like Dallas.”
Tuning out the noise is easier said than done, but it’s not like McCarthy hasn’t been in the center of the media spotlight before. As a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Packers, he became one of the most prominent names in the league.
Cowboys Rebounding After Playoff Home Loss
Winning the NFC East went a long way to keeping the temperature low for McCarthy, as the Cowboys went 12-5. Dallas boasted an explosive defense and steady offense that combined for the Cowboys to finish second in the league in point differential.
But all momentum earned in the regular season was sapped by the Cowboys losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round, in Cowboys Stadium no less. 49ers star Deebo Samuel shined in the 23-17 contest that sent Dallas home after one postseason game.
Considering the Cowboys still have a talented roster and that the team has only won three times in the playoffs since 2000, regular-season success may not be enough anymore. McCarthy can’t just win games, he has to win the ones that matter most.