It goes without saying that December is the most important month in football, as far as the regular season is concerned at least. While the regular season now dips deeper into January with the league having added a 17th game, ultimately December is the last month where teams are playing every single week. It is generally when teams are separating themselves from the pack, or putting themselves back into contention if they were unable to get there by November’s end.
We have only gotten to see the Dallas Cowboys under Mike McCarthy one time in December and it was a prosperous one as far as wins are concerned. Dallas went 3-1 in the money month last year and wouldn’t you know it, Mike McCarthy is generally a pretty solid coach in December.
Being a little bit more specific here, December is the month in which McCarthy has the highest winning percentage of his career.
What is particularly interesting (using some recent hindsight) is that Mike McCarthy has always struggled in November, the month when the Cowboys just went 1-3. It is difficult to chalk that up to one thing or another, but the data overwhelming proves that November is his least successful month as a head coach.
Given that December is the most prosperous month for McCarthy, we wanted to understand whether or not this was simply a result of the homefield advantage that exists in McCarthy’s previous place of employment at Lambeau Field given that its “advantage” can be a bit stronger than others as far as cold weather is concerned. So we broke things up by home and away games.
As you can see, McCarthy’s second-best winning percentage in away games occurs in December so this isn’t just a product of the Frozen Tundra in Green Bay, WI. For one reason or another McCarthy tends to turn the heat up when the cool fronts are blowing in.
The Cowboys got off to a 1-0 start in December last week thanks to their win against the New Orleans Saints, and while that win is technically credited to Mike McCarthy, he obviously wasn’t there for it.
Up next in McCarthy’s return is a trip to Washington where the Cowboys can put a firm grip on the NFC East title and re-announce themselves as contenders to the rest of the league. This is typically when his teams show up so that certainly bodes well for these things happening.