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Mike McCarthy’s Dallas future and the impact of the playoffs on that

The next few weeks are rather important for Mike McCarthy.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are entering Week 18 of the regular season with complete control of their postseason seeding. If the Cowboys beat the Washington Commanders on Sunday, not only will they win the NFC East, but they will also secure the number two seed in the playoffs. Securing the two seed could pay off big for Dallas, as they would be guaranteed at least two home games to start the playoffs (assuming they win in the wild card round). The Cowboys currently have the longest home winning streak in the NFL at 16 games. Having the advantage of playing at AT&T stadium would put QB Dak Prescott in the best position to lead his team to victory.

While the Cowboys received help from the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys are in this position because of their consistency in the regular season. This is something fans have had the luxury of growing accustomed to under head coach Mike McCarthy. If the Cowboys win on Sunday, they will finish the season 12-5. It would be their third straight season finishing with this record. Mike McCarthy has the opportunity to improve to a 36-15 record throughout the last three regular seasons in Dallas.

Since moving on from their previous head coach in Jason Garrett, the Cowboys have benefited greatly in the regular season under McCarthy. Unfortunately, the outcome hasn’t improved in the playoffs. McCarthy is just 1-2 in the postseason since he began coaching the Cowboys in 2020. Factoring this in with the amount of talent the Cowboys have this year, the pressure McCarthy faces to succeed in the playoffs this year cannot be overstated.

If the Cowboys are unable to make it past the divisional round, can a case be made for the front office to move on from McCarthy? It is hard to argue with his consistency in the regular season; with his ability to put the Cowboys in a position to contend in January. However, fans in Dallas are growing restless as they have failed to reach the conference championship game since 1996. The only four teams who have suffered longer droughts include the Miami Dolphins (1993), Washington Commanders (1992), Detroit Lions (1992), and the Cleveland Browns (1990). If the Cowboys are unable to reach the NFC title game despite potentially holding home-field advantage in the first two rounds, McCarthy’s future in Dallas will be the subject of debate in the offseason.

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