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Cowboys news: “Wrong day to have a bad day” ends Dallas’ season abruptly

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NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What we learned in Dallas Cowboys season ending no-show to Packers in wild-card playoffs - Clarence Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star Telegram

The Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb connection being off in this game was the first sign it might not be Dallas’ day at home.

“This is a hurtful loss,” McCarthy said. “You know we put ourselves in position to play a home playoff game. We had a great opportunity, felt really good about the week of preparation. You know, so we thought we matched up well. But, you know, we clearly picked a wrong day to have a bad day.”

What we learned in Dallas Cowboys shocking loss to the Green Bay Packers in the wild-card playoffs:

CEEDEE LAMB A NON FACTOR WHEN IT MATTERED

The surest thing the Cowboys hope to have against the Packers Lamb, who had been unstable in 2023 with a league-high 135 receptions. Lamb opened the game not on the same page with Prescott. He just missed a third down pass on the opening drive of the game. He added a drop later on. Lamb didn’t catch a in the first quarter. The Cowboys fell behind 14-0, thanks to a pick headed in his direction. And it was 20-0 before he became even a factor in the game.

The final numbers were respectable, but the Cowboys needed their best receiver the most after a season when he made first-team All-Pro — and in this game he was a non factor.

Lamb finished with 9 catches for 110 yards and no touchdowns.

“We credit them for some of the early looks,” Prescott said. “Disguising how they’re going to play him and then late after the snap, moving and obviously not giving me the same picture that they were pre snap as they did post snap. Once we got it going, once again it was too late. But it was CeeDee as his usual, CeeDee going and making plays.”

The First Read, Divisional Round: Biggest immediate question for advancing/eliminated NFL playoff teams - Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com

This is far from the first time Mike McCarthy’s job status has come into question, but it’s going to be one of the biggest question until it’s answered.

Is Mike McCarthy the right man for the Cowboys?

It’s time to have a hard conversation about that in Dallas, especially after owner Jerry Jones said he was “floored” by his team’s wild-card loss to Green Bay. For all the success Mike McCarthy has enjoyed over the last three years — a run that includes two NFC East titles and three 12-5 seasons — he simply can’t move this team deep into the playoffs. The Cowboys have one postseason victory in his four seasons, and this latest defeat was easily the most disturbing. Dallas came into Sunday’s contest riding a 16-game home winning streak. They wound up looking ill-prepared to deal with a Packers team that was ready to scrap as soon as the game kicked off. The Cowboys faced a 27-0 deficit at one point in the first half, which was mind-boggling, given that this team averaged 37 points per game at home this season and Green Bay’s defense had been abysmal for most of the 2023 campaign. Jones has supported McCarthy plenty in the past. Does that change now that he’s endured his third straight soul-crushing postseason defeat with McCarthy at the helm? The marketplace is stocked with a number of strong head coaches, a group that includes Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Mike Vrabel and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. It didn’t make sense for Jones to take a chance on a less-proven commodity before. Now that his Cowboys have lost once again — in a year when they held the No. 2 seed and it wasn’t the 49ers knocking them off — it might be time to think about a new head man.

Packers vs. Cowboys NFL Wild Card Playoff Game Draws 40M Viewers - Andrew Peters, Bleacher Report

Win, lose, or tie the Cowboys are always guaranteed to pull an audience.

Sunday’s wild-card matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers drew 40 million viewers, per Fox Sports.

With the whopping viewership, the game had the best performance for an NFL wild-card game since 2015. The game between the Cowboys and Packers peaked at 43.4 million viewers from 6:45 to 7 p.m ET.

According to Fox, the delivery for Sunday’s game is up 20 percent from last year’s game in the same time window, which was between the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings.

On Saturday night, the wild-card matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, streaming exclusively on Peacock, hit 23 million viewers.

Dallas suffered a 48-23 loss to the Packers in the wild-card matchup. The Cowboys went into the half with a crushing 27-7 deficit, but managed to crawl back and make it a two-possession game, but their efforts were too little, too late.

Jerry Jones sends message in team meeting Monday - Nick Harris, DallasCowboys.com

Jerry Jones is far from the only person disappointed in the Cowboys losing to the Packers, but will he do anything about it?

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones also popped in to meet with the team and express his urgency about the team’s desire to win.

“His message was we gotta win,” Lewis said. “It’s the Dallas Cowboys. We had everything to win. We can’t let this feeling keep going on, so it makes sense. I just feel like he wants to win right now. The urgency is now. It was always that on our shoulders. He made it clear that that was the point.”

With speculation circling around what impending decisions that Jerry Jones could make about players, Mike McCarthy and more, Lewis took an opportunity to defend his head coach and quarterback on the season they had.

“This is one of the hardest jobs in America,” he said. “The quarterback and the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. I feel like [McCarthy’s] done a tremendous job with all things in consideration. It’s kind of hard. A lot of people against you, all of the outside noise, we just made sure we stuck our arms around each other and stayed together. I think he did a really good job.”

Dallas Cowboys 2024 Mock Draft: Troy Fautanu, Byron Murphy II Helps Dallas Build Up Front - Anthony Miller, Pro Football Network

The Cowboys didn’t get much from their draft class this season, and hold the 24th overall pick in the first round this year.

Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL Draft

It’s a light load for the Cowboys during the NFL Draft this year, as they only hold five picks. Dallas does have at least one pick in the first three rounds but does not have their fourth pick until the seventh round where they have two in the round.

Round 1, Pick 30: Troy Fautanu, G, Washington

Round 2, Pick 62: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Round 3, Pick 93: Delmar Glaze, OT, Maryland

Round 7, Pick 205: Jaden Davis, CB, Miami (FL)

Round 7, Pick 222: Tatum Bethune, LB, Florida State

Dallas Cowboys 7-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft

The Cowboys will be taking a massive hit in free agency on the offensive line and defensive line. Seven of their 14 pending free agents are on the offensive or defensive line.

With not a lot of picks to use, the Cowboys should have more of a focus on the lines to add some strength and to get younger with older players like 33-year-old Tyron Smith entering free agency.

Round 1, Pick 30: Troy Fautanu, G, Washington

The Washington Huskies had a magical run to the national championship game, and guard Troy Fautanu was a big reason for it. Fautanu finished the season as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection and will become the last player to win the Morris Trophy for best offensive and defensive lineman in the conference.

Smith is entering free agency at 33 and is injury-prone, which would make it an interesting conversation for the team to decide whether to bring him back. 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith filled in for Tyron at left tackle when he was injured so Dallas could move Tyler to left tackle, and Fautanu would move to left guard.

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