McCarthy’s Seat Safe After Another Early Cowboys Playoff Exit

  • Emily Townley
  • Sports
  • January 17, 2024

The Dallas Cowboys, coming off their statement win against division rival Washington Commanders, got trounced on Sunday versus the seventh-seed Green Bay Packers. Though the score was 48-32, the Packers dominated the Cowboys on both sides of the ball. Jordan Love, Green Bay’s rookie quarterback, threw for 272 yards and scored three touchdowns. Despite throwing over 400 yards, Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and got sacked four times. For Cowboys fans, however, this feeling is all too familiar.

The Packers and Cowboys have faced each other nine times in the postseason. In the last two times they have met, Green Bay proved victorious. Green Bay has also won the previous five games between the two teams, postseason or not. This is different from the way Dallas intended to end their season.

Before Sunday’s game, the Cowboys sat at 12-5. A few weeks before, they won a statement game against the Philadelphia Eagles, taking the NFC East away from Philly. Dak Prescott had been putting up MVP numbers. He was third in passing in the regular season, propelling his offense to a league-leading 509 points. The defense was no joke either; the Cowboys allowed 18.5 points per game, fifth in the league. On paper, this team was a Super Bowl shoo-in.

The Dallas Cowboys, however, last Super Bowl appearance was nearly 30 years ago. The last championship brought home by “America’s Team” was in 1995. Dallas also hasn’t won a conference championship since ’95. The Cowboys have made the playoffs six times in the last ten years, including playoff berths three years in a row. However, they’ve never made it past the divisional round in those previous three years.

  • 2021: Loss to ’49ers
  • 2022: Loss to ’49ers
  • 2023: Loss to Green Bay

Naturally, questions about the team’s future arose after this loss, specifically Mike McCarthy’s position as head coach. These last three playoff losses occurred under his tenure. Ironically, it all happened following a 12-5 record in the regular season. In a post-game interview, owner Jerry Jones claimed that he hasn’t thought “one second about” McCarthy’s future in Dallas. Following the game, ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter wrote, “Throughout this season, sources believed Cowboys’ HC Mike McCarthy would always be judged by how Dallas’s last game of the season went.” After Sunday night’s performance, it’s easy to see why McCarthy’s role in the organization is being questioned. Despite speculation, ESPN confirmed McCarthy will stay on as the Cowboys head coach.