A large portion of Dallas Cowboys fans are as dejected, down, numb, hopeless, whatever you want to call it, as they have ever been throughout The Drought™️. Obviously there are some painful losses that we have all had to sit through, but the devastation from Sunday’s failure against the Green Bay Packers feels significant. We do not have to re-litigate why (how well the team played, home-field advantage, so on and so forth) because we all know it. And we are all here. Sitting. Waiting. Not feeling anything.
Fallouts like these typically offer a sacrifice of sorts, a fall guy if you will. The Cowboys do not appear ready to give us one as Mike McCarthy is officially returning for 2024 and the team reportedly wants Dan Quinn back if he does not get an offer to be a head coach.
Thursday served as the day where they formalized all of that with a Mike McCarthy press conference, and in it he was asked a very difficult question to answer. NFL Network’s Jane Slater point blank asked McCarthy why fans should buy back into him as the head coach of this team.
Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy was asked by @SlaterNFL why should fans buy back into him as head coach…— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) January 18, 2024
He tried to inspire confidence, not sure he did based on his results so far #DallasCowboys
( : @dallascowboys) pic.twitter.com/BemtdHIirA
“Because I believe that the direction, the leadership, everything is in place. I’m not very comfortable talking about myself, but I came here to win a championship. I didn’t come here to get another contract or anything other than that. I came to Dallas to win a World Championship and that’s why I’m standing here. Buy into us.”
There probably isn’t an answer that McCarthy could have had that would have made anybody feel better. This is the kind of situation where it seems like the only antidote - time.
We have noted that the Cowboys have experienced serious success in the McCarthy era, but that is all relative. Yes, they have won 12 games in each of the last three seasons and appeared in the playoffs in each of them, but what was the true gain?
McCarthy mentioned that he joined the Cowboys to win a World Championship, and while that is true, he specifically was the choice for the head coaching position to break through to the Divisional Round and beyond. He has a 1-3 playoff record in his four seasons and has only reached that divisional point a single time. Obviously he did not win the game.
Comparing McCarthy to Jason Garrett is not ideal and seems like a silly proposition given what McCarthy has accomplished (really what Garrett did not). But consider that Garrett’s teams that did make the playoffs (3 times in 9 full seasons) never finished shy of the Divisional Round. They had the first-round bye in one instance but in the other two won at least one playoff game.
Jason Garrett-led Dallas Cowboys teams in the playoffs
- 2014 (fourth season): Won in the Wild Card Round, lost in the Divisional Round
- 2016 (sixth season): Had the first-round bye, lost in the Divisional Round
- 2018 (eighth season): Won in the Wild Card Round, lost in the Divisional Round
McCarthy has reached the playoffs in every season in Dallas save for his first one, but he has twice been bounced in the very first round. What’s more is the one win he has overseen came against a below-.500 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team (even if it was led by Tom Brady) starts to lose its shine.
The purpose here is not to compare McCarthy to Garrett, but to exemplify just why the disappointment feels so intense. And with no significant changes to date, it is hard to rally ourselves up for another turn on this ride.
With all of that being said, we’d like to ask another difficult question - is there anything the Cowboys can do this offseason to get you to do the rally in question? To be clear, we are speaking in practical and realistic terms, but is there anything within those parameters that can be done to where you think you would feel a sense of excitement and or hope?
We would love to hear your answers below.