The Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team. Part of the reality of carrying that mantle is that the lights are brightest on you. When the Dallas Cowboys win, they are lauded in ways that others are not; however, when they lose, the are treated with far more criticism than your average team that is defeated.
That is the Dallas Cowboys way. When you are the most visible franchise in all of sports there are expectations that you face that nobody else does. Right, wrong, fair, or indifferent, this is simply the way that it goes.
Jason Garrett managed the CEO factor of being the Cowboys head coach in a very fair way. Ultimately he didn’t accomplish enough in the football department, and that’s where Mike McCarthy is being tasked with being better.
He seems ready for the challenge. Moreover, he seems ready for the expectations.
Mike McCarthy is embracing the expectation that comes with being the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys
If there is anything that we have learned about Mike McCarthy it is that he does not want us to know anything about his plans for the 2020 season. That will change in a very different way on Sunday as the Cowboys are going to play a game for the world to see, and we are all anxious to feast our eyes on this new product.
Ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, McCarthy spoke as the head coach normally does. His Wednesday press conference was very interesting, particularly what he had to say about the expectations that he faces manning America’s Team.
“Well I think that reality is that every team in this league is competing to win the championship. I don’t know why, you wouldn’t do this otherwise. Some people believe you want to keep the expectations low and then just, keeps the pressure off of you and all that. Trust me I knew the day I walked in this building what the expectations are and always will be with the Dallas Cowboys. I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of experience of coaching a football team with high expectations year in year out, day to day. So I don’t really put a lot of time and energy and focus into that.”
“To me that’s a given. That’s part of the deal here. And I embrace that. And I don’t think, I look it as a blessing to be able to line up and have that opportunity to go out and win, especially when you’re expected to win. Because that’s the only way you can go about the game of football. That’s the only way I’ve ever approached it. I’ve never lined up in any contest where I didn’t expect to win. There’s a path to victory every single time you line up as a team. And it’s my responsibility to keep the team on the path through the preparation phase and make sure they’re ready to go. So 3-0 is a good start.”
“And frankly I did an analytics presentation to the team on really the course of last year’s team, just to show examples of the importance of playing with consistency and keeping your valleys from your top performances to your lowest performances, the peaks and your valleys got to be short, they can’t be deep. At the end of it our training and our plan, our goal is to have a trend line that starts as high as possible. But we want our trend line to climb throughout the season. Not only do we want to win games, win all of our games, but we want to be playing our best football in December. In November, December, and take it into the playoffs. So that’s the mindset. That’s the understanding. That’s the everyday conversation when we talk outside of the specifics of what we’re trying to actually get done.”
“And I think it’s important to clearly express those thoughts and approaches but more importantly have a clear understanding the formula of why you do what you do to keep you on that course. And I just think it brings a clearer understanding and keeps us all on the same page. But yea I’m not going to sit here and beat the drum and talk about what our expectations are because to me it’s a given. And I think some people are scared to say it, but there’s no need to say it. At the end of the day it’ll always be the expectation here in Dallas, and I love that.”
This is quite the answer from the newest head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, one that likely comes from having spent a year away from the game assessing how to be better. If there is anything that we have learned about Mike McCarthy it is that his year away from the game was one of introspection and learning.
Beyond the rah-rah nature of Mike McCarthy embracing the responsibilities of the head coach that wears a star on his cap, it is very interesting to see that he showed the Cowboys players an analytics presentation on their season last year. The question he answered referenced the team starting 3-0 last season and there is no denying that that was the longest peak that the group had all of last year. It makes sense that he would want to see the base rise as the season progresses to the point that the Cowboys would be peaking at the ideal time of November and December.
It is very clear that Mike McCarthy is focused on the season ahead. As he was being asked questions in a bit more detail near the end of the press conference he quickly put an end to it, we have seen that he likes to limit the knowledge that can be made available regarding his team.
Sunday night should be fun.