There’s just something about Atlanta and blowing improbable leads.
The Dallas Cowboys pounced on the Falcons' mind-blowing misfortune at the end of regulation, rallying from being down 20-0 after one quarter and eventually 39-30 with three minutes left to escape with a 40-39 win.
However, despite being marked in the win column as a “W”, this was anything but a victory for Dallas’ coaching staff, as Mike McCarthy and Co. did nearly everything in their power to drag this talented team to a loss. Seconds away from starting the year 0-2 with a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks next weekend, McCarthy’s second poor performance in as many weeks is an extremely worrisome sign for Dallas, particularly because he looks like a Jason Garrett-clone to begin his Dallas career.
A timid play-caller who took the ball out of his franchise quarterback’s hands in multiple crucial situations, McCarthy has shown nothing in two games as an offensive mind to suggest he’s going to help develop Dak Prescott as a passer, nor has he done anything as a decision-maker to suggest he’s capable of making tough and difficult choices with the game on the line.
Claiming to delve into analytics in his time away from football, McCarthy also hasn’t done anything in these past few games to suggest he even knows what an analytical approach actually entails, with his past words looking like nothing more than mere propaganda at this point in time.
This has been made abundantly obvious by some of his supposedly “bold” calls, as even when he’s stepped outside his comfort zone, McCarthy has done so in the wrong ways. Going for it on 4th-and-short at midfield is technically good, but not when you fake a punt instead of calling a normal throw with your top-tier quarterback. Deciding to run a two-point attempt down by 15 sounds like logical thinking, but not when the play-call is a hand-off up the gut. Gunning for a touchdown and not settling for a field goal is bold and brave, but not when you’re three points from a tie game.
It’s these types of calls, coupled with his bland offensive approach, that makes McCarthy appear like a washed-up coach well past his prime. It also certainly doesn’t help that Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay have improved dramatically since his departure, going 16-4 with new coach Matt LaFleur.
He had his time in the sun, but McCarthy doesn’t look like the type of coach who can take this Dallas team to the promised lands. Like with Garrett, Prescott and the Cowboys’ talented personnel may do a good enough job covering up his deficiencies, but at the end of the day, you want your head coach to either be an elite motivator/leader or a creative/innovative offensive mind. McCarthy is neither.
It might be an overreaction after only two games, but his hiring this offseason already looks like a big, BIG mistake for this Cowboys organization.