Charles Dickens wrote "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." - A Tale of Two Cities. Who knew he was describing the life of a Dallas Cowboys fan?
In all seriousness, the Dallas Cowboys have essentially been two entirely different teams through the first five weeks of the 2023 season. Their wins? 40-0, 30-10, and 38-3 have been among the most dominant to date by any team in the league. Their losses? 28-16 and 42-10 were dominant as well, but at the Cowboys expense. In essence, they are an enigma. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
No one, not even the Dallas Cowboys, knows exactly how this team is going to perform moving forward the rest of the season. The only thing we do know is there's only one person who will, more than likely, be held accountable for their success or failure this year, Mike McCarthy.
This is Mike McCarthy's team now. With Kellen Moore now in Los Angeles with the Chargers, there are no longer any holdovers from previous coaching staffs. This is his team and his coaching staff, all of which he had a hand in putting together. Because of that, win or lose, everything that happens from here on out will fall directly at his feet.
With the Dallas Cowboys’ Jekyll and Hyde routine so far this season, there is already quite a bit of talk Mike McCarthy's head coaching future in Dallas could be in jeopardy. That's completely understandable considering he hasn't accomplished what Jerry Jones hired him to do as of yet, get over the proverbial playoff hump.
Despite his back-to-back 12-5 regular-season finishes, McCarthy has yet to lead the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC Championship game. Instead, he has allowed the San Francisco 49ers to knock Dallas out of the playoffs in two consecutive years. And to make matters worse, he just allowed the same 49ers team to completely dominate them in prime time on Sunday Night Football.
In what was expected to be a measuring stick type of game and potential playoff preview, Dallas let San Francisco put up 421 yards of offense and average 6.3 yards per play in Week 5. Brock Purdy averaged 10.5 yards per attempt, tossed four touchdowns, and was pressured just eight times. Suffice to say, it was a complete whooping, one the Cowboys haven’t taken in quite some time.
If that's the way they are going to stack up against playoff caliber teams down the road, just making the playoffs looks as if it will be a daunting task to accomplish. And, even if they make the postseason, another early exit seems to be a real possibility. That, of course, is pure speculation considering there is a lot of football yet to play, but also very realistic considering what's already taken place this season.
As far as Jerry Jones is concerned, he is hungry. Hungry for some playoff success and especially hungry for another Super Bowl victory. If Mike McCarthy can't do what the Jones' hired him to do, get over the playoff hump, he could look elsewhere to find someone who can. That could mean McCarthy only has the remainder of this year to prove himself, and if not, find himself unemployed.
It's going to be really interesting to see how everything continues to play out for McCarthy the rest of the season. He has a lot of room to improve as a head coach, play-caller, and game manager to keep this team in the running as a legit Super Bowl contender this year. If they continue this Jekyll and Hyde routine though, he could find his time in Dallas come to an abrupt end.