Washington Coach Warns Mike McCarthy for Making ‘Big Mistake’

Washington HC Ron Rivera, Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

Getty Washington HC Ron Rivera, Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy

In his return to work following a bout with COVID-19, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy channeled his inner Joe Namath, guaranteeing a victory over the Washington Football Team ahead of their Week 14 face-off at FedEx Field.

“We’re going to win this game,” McCarthy said Thursday, December 9, via The Athletic. “I’m confident in that.”

McCarthy’s braggadocio was equal parts surprising and controversial. Skeptics suggest he did the Cowboys a disservice by providing its surging division nemesis — winners of four straight — enough bulletin-board material to capture No. 5.

Washington counterpart Ron Rivera, briefed on the remarks, took the criticism a step further, intimating McCarthy’s choice of words were rooted in selfishness.

“You do that for a couple of reasons: 1. You want to get in our head. Secondly, he’s trying to convince his team,” Rivera said, via The Athletic. “He’s now made it about him. I think it’s a big mistake.”

This will be the first of two regular-season matchups between the rivals, who also will meet in Dallas on December 26. Washington (6-6) currently trails the Cowboys (8-4) by … two games in the NFC East.

Popcorn, ready.

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McCarthy Stands Ground on Guarantee

A former Super Bowl-winner with the Green Bay Packers, McCarthy knew upon opening his mouth what he had just gotten himself — and his team — into. Subsequent chirping out of Washington’s locker room confirmed as much.

“The only thing guaranteed is death and taxes,” defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said, via The Athletic.

Though, knowing that made little difference; McCarthy seemed more inclined to double down on his always-risky promise than walk it back.

“What am I supposed to say?” he asked rhetorically, via The Athletic. “I fully expect to win every game I’ve ever competed in. … They’re working hard, we’re working hard. But we’re clearly planning on going to Washington and winning the game. There’s no doubt about that.”

McCarthy added, via Bleacher Report: “With respect to your job, I think [worrying about bulletin-board material is] a waste of time. I’m more focused on the real stuff. I think it’s important you go through the week to identify how the opponent is going to play you things you’re expecting. By Friday, they’re blank faces to me. We’re about winning, doing the things we need to win, just stay on the details of where we need to improve. To me, that’s enough work.”

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Cowboys Players Buying In to McCarthy’s Tactic

Informed about his coach’s proclamation, two words immediately sprung to mind for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott: “S*** yeah.” Running back Tony Pollard was similarly fired up, motivated by McCarthy’s faith in his players to cash the proverbial check.

“It just shows that he believes in us, he puts his trust in us and he’s behind us all the way,” Pollard said Thursday, December 9, via Jori Epstein of USA Today.

“It was good having him back in team meetings bringing the energy … just getting guys spiced up.”

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