In his first season with the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Mike McCarthy’s team went 6-10 and was ravaged by injuries. The Covid-19 pandemic made it very difficult for him in his first offseason with the team.
The limited training camp and no preseason games meant he would not get his first true look at the roster until week one. Then in week five, the Cowboys lost their star quarterback Dak Prescott, which essentially ended all hope of a winning season.
The 2021 season should be a complete 180 for the Cowboys or Mike McCarthy’s job could be in jeopardy. Entering his first full training camp with the team and a seemingly fully healthy roster, McCarthy must lead this team back to the playoffs.
Playing in the poor NFC East, on paper Dallas has an immediate roster advantage over the rest of the division. The offense should be one of the best units in the NFL but the challenge will be getting the young defense to play at an average to an above-average level.
Adding new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the coaching staff should help solve some of the defensive woes from last season. Quinn is an experienced defensive coordinator and has shown the ability in the past to get the best out of his players. (Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner)
Back in 2007 in McCarthy’s second year with the Packers, they went 13-3 and made the NFC Championship game where they lost to the New York Giants. If McCarthy is able to replicate that success in his second season in Dallas he would establish himself as the Cowboys coach for the foreseeable future.
McCarthy agreed to a five-year deal before last season but if he does not have the success Jerry Jones was hoping for when he hired him I do not think Jones would hesitate to make a move.
Jones realizes this roster is in win-now mode. The offensive line is not getting any younger and the roster has been prone to injuries in recent years.
The time is now for Dallas to make a run at the Super Bowl and Mike McCarthy should be the guy to do it.
Despite a limited roster, McCarthy was able to win six games in 2020. But, many fans still question his weekly preparation leading up to games. That is a fair criticism due to the slow starts the team suffered all year.
Down 20-0 to Atlanta in week two. Down 21-3 to Arizona in week six. Also, in weeks six through eight, the offense scored a total of 22 points.
Granted Dak Prescott was injured at that point but Andy Dalton was brought in to be a competent backup. Yet, he looked anything but competent when he first took the reigns.
I am certainly rooting for McCarthy to succeed and hope to see him raise the sixth super bowl trophy for the Dallas Cowboys. But, he must succeed this season to show he is the coach of the future.