The Dallas Cowboys didn’t just lose to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, they were outright humiliated and embarrassed by the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Losses like this most recent one are jarring for football teams. They make you question whether the good that preceded them was actually real or all just a mirage that was finally exposed. As Dallas Cowboys fans we are emotionally conditioned to believe the latter and we are afraid to love again which only reinforces our inclination to assume that the proverbial carriage has finally turned into a pumpkin.
How the Cowboys respond in their next game will say a lot about this football team. Dallas is hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, a chance for Dan Quinn to face the team he served as head coach of, and while they have finally reached .500, the reality is that they are not all too intimidating of a squad.
Fortunately for Dallas, their current head coach has a propensity to respond rather well to defeats like this one.
Mike McCarthy-led teams have generally responded from double-digit losses rather well
While he is only in his second season with America’s Team, Mike McCarthy has been a head coach in the NFL for a long time. A very long time.
In an effort to find any sort of optimism in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat, we decided to take a look at how his teams have done following double-digit point losses (Dallas technically lost by 14 on Sunday although it felt much worse than that) so as to hopefully discern how the Cowboys will fare against the Falcons this week.
We decided to exclude two seasons from this study given the volatile nature of each of them. Our first omission was McCarthy’s first year as a head coach (2006 with the Green Bay Packers) given that he was still finding his bearings as someone leading an NFL team. We also decided to disregard 2020 (his first year with the Cowboys) given that he was without a number of important players including his starting quarterback, and COVID made it tough on a new coach..
Understanding the sample at hand, it is worth noting that more often than anything else McCarthy-led teams generally respond to embarrassments by winning with authority.
As far as dealing with a difficult loss, McCarthy-led teams (these are all Packers teams if that isn’t obvious) win by 14 points or more 31% of the time. The second-most common result is a 7-13 point loss if you want to live on the negative side of things, though.
Looking at all margins of victory in totality, 61% of the time that McCarthy’s team is trying to respond from being handed a huge loss they are victorious. That is certainly encouraging along with the fact that Atlanta hasn’t exactly been a stout contender this year.
How the Cowboys play on Sunday will impact and influence the way that a lot of people will see this season ultimately winding up for Dallas. After their date against the Falcons the Cowboys will travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs before hitting the fast forward button on preparation and getting ready for the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving. Needless to say things are about to be a lot more hectic which heightens the need for a win.
Here’s to the Cowboys getting one on Sunday.