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Mike McCarthy has generally turned 1-2 starts into playoff appearances as a head coach

Don’t write the Cowboys off yet.

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have played three games this season and only won one. It is definitely fair to note that Dallas has lost games to two teams that look to be serious contenders in the NFC in the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. The former almost successfully mounted a comeback after trailing 28-3 to another legitimate team in the Buffalo Bills and the latter has what looks like this season’s MVP in Russell Wilson.

Cowboys fans are tired of excuses, though. This team has contended in all of these games and while the NFC East does not appear to be a division that will require an inordinate amount of success to win, Mike McCarthy was hired to help this team realize is true potential. After his first month in the regular season things feel like more of the same.

Starting off 1-2 isn’t worthy of much praise but it also isn’t exactly foreign territory for Mike McCarthy. Obviously he had a lot of success as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers but he did find himself with two losses three games in.

More often than not he turned that ship around.

75% of Mike McCarthy’s 1-2 teams made the playoffs in Green Bay

There is a lot of criticism going around as far as the Cowboys are concerned, but in the interest of looking at both the clouds of rain and flower beds in the garden it is worth talking about how Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers teams performed when they started off seasons 1-2.

McCarthy actually started off four different seasons with a 1-2 record while with the Packers and had Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback for three of them. In all three Rodgers-led seasons the Packers wound up making the playoffs (we don’t have to talk about what happened in 2014). The lone year that Green Bay couldn’t dig out of that hole was in 2006 with Brett Favre under center.

The most amazing year in which McCarthy’s Packers started off a season 1-2 and managed to get to the playoffs is probably 2013. You’ll recall that Aaron Rodgers actually missed time that year for Green Bay and that the Packers had to play Matt Flynn for a bit. You definitely remember the comeback that they had against the Cowboys which was part of their December heroics.

While it’s fair to note that in that particular year the Packers partly made the playoffs not only because the Cowboys collapsed against them, but also because the Chicago Bears did within the NFC North, that is sort of the situation that the Cowboys are in within their own division in the here and now. The NFC East collectively has two victories on the year and the Cowboys have half of them, let alone the only win to come against a team outside of said division (shout out to the Atlanta Falcons).

The point here isn’t that the Cowboys are in an advantageous position because they are 1-2 under Mike McCarthy, but it should definitely be said that falling to 1-2 has proven not to be a season-ending proposition for him more often than not. That is very good news in unison with the fact that this year’s NFC East is very bad and that winning it guarantees this team a playoff spot.

Of course, winning the NFC East in 2020 is hardly something that would be enough for anyone. Just consider that this is a long season and that there is a lot of football left to be played.

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