The Dallas Cowboys have ten wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since when they did it in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. Barry Switzer was the team’s head coach during those seasons, and since then, there have been six coaches in Dallas: Chan Gailey (1998-1999), Dave Campo (2000-2002), Bill Parcells (2003-2006), Wade Phillips (2007-2010), Jason Garrett (2010-2019), and Mike McCarthy (2020-present). McCarthy is the only one in that time period to accomplish back-to-back ten win seasons. Not only this, but McCarthy also has the chance to clinch a berth for the playoffs with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. This would be the first time since the 2006 and 2007 seasons that the organization has made it to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Mike McCarthy has led the Cowboys to double-digit wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in over a quarter century and is about to lead them to the playoffs in two straight for the first time in 15 years.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 14, 2022
Idk why people are so unwilling to call him very good to great. https://t.co/LUhSV8Zd1E
McCarthy certainly has his questionable moments. The team has had a penalty problem under his leadership, and there has been questionable time-management and game-time decisions as well. However, you can not argue with his results. McCarthy has brought his winning experience to Dallas.
While many would argue that their 27-23 victory over the Houston Texans this past Sunday was an unimpressive win for Dallas, there is also a positive light. Sure, it was an ugly performance from the Cowboys, as they should not have struggled to beat an opposing team with just one win on the season. However, it still can be termed an impressive win, and may translate to success in the playoffs.
When QB Dak Prescott threw an interception to Houston’s CB Tremon Smith, the game appeared to be over. The Texans had the ball at the Dallas four-yard line, up three points, with just 5:37 minutes remaining in the game. The only people in AT&T stadium who didn’t believe the game was over was the Dallas Cowboys. The defense proceeded to stop the Texans offense on four consecutive plays, and Prescott and the offense drove 98-yards and won the game off of a touchdown run by RB Ezekiel Elliott. The team looked unfazed by all of the adversity they had gone through leading up to that moment in the game.
The most impressive aspect of this Cowboys team under McCarthy is their ability to fight through adversity. Their resiliency. When the team lost Prescott to injury in their week one loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the season felt over. McCarthy had other plans. McCarthy went on to win four straight games with Cooper Rush as the team’s starting quarterback. They knocked off the 2021 AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals in a thriller in week two. They went on to beat two division rivals, the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders, in weeks three and four. These ultimately turned out to be huge wins in the long-term outlook of the season, considering that the NFC East has been the most competitive division in the NFL record-wise this year. The team followed that up by beating the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in week five.
While Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni will likely win this year’s “Coach of the Year” award, McCarthy should be a candidate in consideration for the award as well. He continues to win in Dallas and keep his football team in contention, despite crucial injuries and tough matchups throughout the season. The next step for McCarthy is for this regular-season success to translate to the playoffs. The expectation is a deep playoff run, as fans in Dallas are becoming restless and impatient. While this still remains to be seen, Mike McCarthy is certainly the right person for the challenge, as he hopes to add another Super Bowl to his accolades.