The 2020 Dallas Cowboys season is one that we will be happy to gloss over in future years when we talk about teams in franchise history. A number of injuries plagued a group that ultimately finished 6-10 in the most challenging year across the entire National Football League.
What was notable about 2020 is that it was Mike McCarthy’s first season as the team’s head coach. There is an opinion among some that the one year was enough evidence to know that McCarthy isn’t up to the challenge of commandeering America’s Team, but it was not just any ol’ year as we’ve noted.
Consider that McCarthy literally spent the entire 2019 season plotting and planning for his return to the National Football League only to see all of his work done ahead of time tossed out the window by the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s more is that when McCarthy did have some time to try and land on his feet his quarterback was lost for the season which left the team sputtering.
Things went well for Mike McCarthy during his second season with the Green Bay Packers
It is fair to assume that things will stabilize for McCarthy during his second year with the Cowboys. Losing his starting quarterback on top of his top two tackles, not to mention other tackles throughout the year, among other hurdles certainly made matters more difficult.
We discussed the things that have to go right for the Cowboys to be successful in 2021 in the latest video on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do so right here) so you don’t miss anything that we do there!
McCarthy has only overseen the Green Bay Packers besides the Cowboys. While it was a long time ago, his second season in charge of the cheeseheads saw the organization take a massive jump in the success department.
McCarthy’s Packers finished 8-8 during his first season at the helmet (2006), but bounced back with force in 2007 as they went 13-3 and finished second in conference seeding only to our beloved Cowboys (shout out to Jessica Simpson, Cabo, and all the rest).
Similar to the 2020 Cowboys, the 2006 Packers had a ton of rookie presence along the offensive line. Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz played most of the season at the two guard spots for Green Bay back then and playing first-year offensive linemen is always going to be a tough situation, even for a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback like Brett Favre who was under center for Green Bay at the time.
Dallas had to play a lot of young players along the line last year almost as a last resort. Brandon Knight saw a ton of time at both tackle spots during his second season with the team while Terence Steele had to play a lot during his rookie year. Tyler Biadasz was a bit more of a planned thing as far as a newbie along the line, but the point is that Dallas had some undrafted free agents where Green Bay had a second- and third-round pick. Rookies are rookies, but there is a difference in pedigree.
Most of the offensive starters from 2006 returned in 2007 and offensively they jumped from 22nd to fourth in terms of points scored (Dallas was 17th in 2020). There are a lot of factors involved in a yearly turnover within an NFL team, but the overall point here is that the second season of Mike McCarthy went a lot more smoothly than the first campaign.
It goes without saying that things tend to stabilize with time. Again, McCarthy had one of the greatest quarterbacks ever leading his offenses in both of these seasons, but he has one of the games elite talents at the moment in Dak Prescott under center for 2021. It stands to reason that things will get much better in an overall sense for the Cowboys.