The Cowboys loss on Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers was as frustrating a performance as a team can put forth in a playoff game. Dallas consistently shot itself in the foot in key moments with drive-killing offensive penalties and drive-extending defensive ones, and there were some baffling decisions made by the coaching staff from a play-calling and game management perspective.
It was not the first time Cowboys fans were frustrated by what felt like overly conservative play-calling and a rampant lack of discipline from the team (which led the NFL in penalties on the season and piled up 14 on Sunday), but that it happened in a playoff game in which the 49ers weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, particularly in the second half, brought the calls for changes on staff, starting with head coach Mike McCarthy, to a fever pitch. For a coach who isn’t a play-caller on either side of the ball, discipline, game management, and execution in key moments have to be the areas of his greatest impact, and those were glaring negatives on Sunday.
Despite that, it certainly doesn’t seem as if the Cowboys are going to be making another coaching hire anytime soon, as EVP Stephen Jones (son of owner Jerry Jones) gave McCarthy a public vote of confidence on Dallas sports radio on Monday.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said he expects Mike McCarthy to remain Dallas’ head coach.
“Absolutely. Very confident.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 17, 2022
McCarthy has been in Dallas for just two seasons, and the Dak Prescott injury a year ago made his first season something of a wash. So, it’s not exactly surprising the Cowboys wouldn’t be looking to make a change after two seasons, but it also is understandable why Cowboys fans wouldn’t feel inspired by McCarthy’s presence at the helm. McCarthy has done little to assuage the concerns some in Dallas had about him based on the end of his tenure in Green Bay, and Sunday’s loss was truly as frustrating a game to watch from a team with as much talent as the Cowboys, who just don’t play with the discipline needed — whether in committing penalties, playing assignment football, or executing on the crucial details in high leverage situations — in the playoffs.
He’ll seemingly get another crack at turning things around next year and giving the Dallas faithful the deep playoff run they’ve craved for two decades now, but confidence isn’t high in Dallas — except from those in charge, apparently.