The Playmaker has an opinion on the McCarthy versus Payton debate.
Irvin went on to say that the difference between Payton and McCarthy is Payton’s ability to win without his key players. Here’s the full quote:
“Here’s the difference that you have to understand that I think puts Sean Payton above it all. Look at the success that Sean Payton had without his best players, without Michael Thomas, without Drew Brees, he still keeps them competitive. They beat the champs twice this year without his best players! That’s what we’re talking about! Without our best players, we lost every darn game! That’s just the reality. We lost every darn game. I had a stuffed animal on the show as an emotional support doll! Are you joking? That’s what Im talking about! … Sean Payton is an upgrade. I’m just going to be real.”
It’s hard to deny that Payton would be an upgrade. The problem is whether or not he chooses to truly retire or return to football. If he does, you know Jones is going to pursue him with full force.
Kellen Moore Will Face the Most Critical Season of his Coaching Career in 2022- Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star
Assuming Moore doesn't pick up a head coaching job this cycle, it will be a big year for the young offensive coordinator.
Now that Moore will likely stay in Dallas, the 2022 season is the most important of his career. It’s obvious that he wants to be the head man someday for an NFL franchise, but if he can’t show that he can consistently get one unit ready, there’s no way he’ll be able to handle all three phases of a football team.
In the first six weeks of the 2021 season, the Cowboys’ offense was on fire averaging 34.1 points and 460.8 yards per game. They finished as the top unit in both categories, but after their bye week (Week 7) the numbers started to dwindle a bit. Ultimately, Moore’s offense picked the worst time to look flat when they took on the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round. They produced a minuscule 17 points, nearly half of the 31.2 points they averaged for this season.
The main reason for this decline was predictability. Teams started to figure out some of Moore’s concepts, and when things didn’t go well, he failed to adjust far too many times. His running plays lacked any creativity and he didn’t scheme to get the ball to his playmakers in the passing game enough.
Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb only had one reception for 21 yards on just four targets against the 49ers in the playoffs. Hall of Famer and Cowboys legend Troy Aikman was critical of his former team and how they abandoned Lamb, which is an indictment on Moore.
Is Cooper Rush the backup quarterback the Cowboys need?
Now Cooper is a veteran with real-game experience and a very modest $1 million salary cap hit. In an offseason that finds Dallas struggling against the cap, Rush gives them bargain value at an important backup position.
Sure, the Cowboys would love to have more experienced depth like Andy Dalton in 2020 or what we’ve seen from guys like Gardner Minshew and Case Keenum last year. But those guys cost a lot more; Keenum carried a $7 million cap hit for the Browns in 2021 and Minshew was about $2.5 million for the Eagles.
Given the financial factor, Cooper Rush is likely to return as the leading candidate for Dak’s backup in 2022. But unlike in 2017-2019 when we were going on preseason games and trust in the coaches and front office, now we’ve seen what Rush can do under real pressure. He’s a far more valuable asset now than ever before, and he’s a great deal for the cap-strapped Cowboys.
Kearse became one of the most valuable defensive weapons for the Cowboys in 2021, but the question is what it will cost to keep him around another year?
Jayron Kearse wasn’t just an emotional leader for the Cowboys defense, but he was also a technical leader. The veteran understood the defense as good as anyone and raised the overall IQ of the defense when he was on the field.
Safeties like Kazee, Donovan Wilson, and Hooker all missed time last season but Kearse stood strong. When Dallas lost nearly all linebacker depth it was Kearse who Dan Quinn leaned on. Kearse helped rush the passer, stop the run, cover out of the backfield….he even lined up wide.
When players started to drop (and they always do) Kearse covered the holes. I honestly can’t remember a time Dallas had such a universal defensive player like Kearse. He raised the floor across the board.
Jayron Kearse may never get those Pro Bowl nods that Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs seem guaranteed to get, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a cornerstone player. Spotrac doesn’t have an estimated value for his next deal, perhaps because he’s so unique. But it’s pretty darn imperative the Dallas Cowboys re-sign the soon-to-be 28-year-old because he’s a big part of this defense and arguably the top stabilizer.
It still hurts.
McCarthy opted to call a quarterback run, not taking the clock into account and ending the Cowboys season in the process. All of this occurred in the Wild Card round, of course, and some of the blame has to go on Prescott.
With just under 10 seconds remaining in the game, McCarthy, Kellen Moore and Prescott thought it would be a good idea to call a quarterback run despite having no timeouts. The clock ran out as Prescott ran up and tried to spike the ball, thus preventing the Cowboys from calling another play.
While not the same level of boneheadedness, Andy Reid must not have watched that game in full.
Chiefs make clock management error to end half
With five seconds on the clock from their own goal-line, Reid gave Patrick Mahomes another chance in a goal-to-go situation to score before the half. Rather than making a quick read, Mahomes took too long and the clock ran out on the first half.
Kansas City still leads at halftime, 21-10, but that easily should have been a two-touchdown advantage after a short field goal from Harrison Butker.
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