One of the harshest criticisms that the Dallas Cowboys have received regarding this 2021 campaign has had to do with specific failures in the management of the team by Mike McCarthy. The head coach arrived in January 2020 with a very clear goal, that of winning the Super Bowl.
However, after a dismal first season of just six wins and ten losses, along with clear failings on defense and Dak Prescott’s injury, 2021 was expected to be something else. For a moment, it was believed that this would be so. The Cowboys were 5-1 before going into their bye week, but things didn’t look so clear after the win over New England. Prescott would end up injuring his right calf for a couple of weeks, and the Week 9 matchup against the Broncos would change everything.
The Broncos hit first, Melvin Gordon pushed himself to get to the TD 💪🏈💯
— NFL Mexico (@nflmx) November 7, 2021
After that, the Lone Star team would finish with a very good 12-5 record. However, they failed to beat rivals such as the Chiefs and the Cardinals. And for most of December, it seemed that duels were won more by the defense than the offense. This resulted in the disastrous loss in the wild card round against San Francisco. A result of 23 to 17 in favor of the Californian team that many will not forget.
Now, thanks to this there is a sea of criticism of McCarthy’s work and his ineffectiveness in certain situations. Especially in the match against San Francisco, the pile of penalties that cost the game, again the failures in offensive production and the lack of character in certain situations in which Dallas had to risk to look for the points at any cost. But the biggest of all is that Dak Prescott run down the middle for 17 yards with 14 seconds left in the game. Where Prescott instead of giving the ball to an official, he gave it to the center. The game ended and as expected, all the accusations would come.
— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
The truth is that McCarthy in his press conferences has hinted that the process will continue with him as head coach. And through 105.3 The Fan, Stephen Jones endorsed Mike’s work and made a similar claim. The detail is that Jerry Jones despite endorsing him, may have other plans in mind.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones just gave a public vote of confidence about Mike McCarthy’s remaining team’s head coach. “Absolutely,” Jones said on @1053thefan. “Very confident.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 17, 2022
Either way, there are no signs that Mike will be out of a job in 2022. After all, he would be entering his third year of five on his contract, just something is working against him. If in the third season he does not reach the goals, it is very likely that he will lose his job. And his natural replacement may be none other than defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Someone who already has high respect in the group and that Jerry Jones is not going to hesitate twice to hire if he goes wrong again with McCarthy.
Apart from this, there is the whole situation with Sean Payton. Whoever was the coach of the Saints from the 2006 to 2021 campaign has decided to dispense with his contract with New Orleans and take a year to rethink his goals. He may well eventually go back to managing a football team or become an analyst for a television network. This is something that the head coach himself has not ruled out at all.
You became our coach after the biggest natural disaster in US history hit our state
You forever changed the culture of our organization, bringing us to unbelievable heights
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 25, 2022
Though unlike Quinn, if Jones wants Payton he’ll have to speak directly to the Saints’ front office. Sean still has three years left on his contract with the team and any NFL franchise that wants his services will have to talk to them first. Whether through trade at the very least, Payton won’t walk away from the rival NFC South team for free. In addition, he would also have to wait for the wishes of the same coach. If he wants to be away from the game for a year or more, it would be his decision and you have to respect it.
So what McCarthy should understand at this point and after the loss in the wild card round is that he shouldn’t take it all so lightly. The future of his job will depend entirely on what he can do in his third season with the Cowboys. Where you don’t have to be a genius to understand that what both the fans and the board want is the Super Bowl. Nothing less than that is expected.
We’ll see what happens, but so far, the Cowboys’ head coach is Mike McCarthy. At least it will be until Jerry Jones has the last word. But if he stays, he will have to analyze and avoid many of his mistakes from the 2021 season. And if the team stays the same, there is complete certainty that the process will have to be changed again.
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Jerry Jones could consider other options for the coaching job