Dallas Cowboys Win Despite ‘McCarthyism’


Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy speaks with a referee during the first quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy speaks with a referee during the first quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

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Mike McCarthy, you have an explanation.

The Dallas Cowboys and their sophomore head coach improved to 3-1 on Sunday, and they go to the Super Bowl every time they play.

They beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at JerryWorld, 36-28, and the party never ends.

The Cowboys are 3-1 for the first time since Jason Garrett’s final season, in 2019. (I know, that surprised me too.)

The Cowboys are currently in one of those run-it-all tracks, and it’s so much fun.

The offensive coordinator could call a dive from his own 1-yard line, and it would become like a 99-yard touchdown run.

The special teams coach may request a direct snap from a blocking guard in a punt formation on 4th and 23rd, and that will end with a first down.

And the head coach will be making a number of decisions to make, and it doesn’t matter.

In his second year with the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Mike McCarthy has maintained the reputation he gained during his long tenure with the Green Bay Packers.

He makes decisions during the match that defy the analytical sheet, football common sense or logic.

Sunday against the Panthers, for the third consecutive week, the Cowboys had more cases of “McCarthyism”.

Early in the second quarter, the Cowboys scored on a touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Blake Jarwin for a 13-7 lead. On point after the attempt, Carolina was penalized for having too many men on the field, resulting in a 1-yard penalty. Mike opted for the 2 point conversion, which collapsed.

Coach, explain this one.

“It put the ball on the 1-yard line, and that’s something we practice,” he said after the game. “It’s the emphasis on situational football.”

On the drive that followed, Carolina was penalized 15 meters for a face mask. Rather than push Carolina into a 2nd and 27th from the depths of his own turf, Mike passed the penalty.

The Panthers took advantage of the 3rd and 12th and converted the first down.

“Third and 12 and we expect to win this game for a three and out,” he said.

In the end, the decisions didn’t matter and they had no effect on the outcome for the players or the fans. Or, more importantly, the players.

They didn’t matter because Prescott and this attack are chewing up opponents. Against the Panthers, Dak Prescott had four touchdowns and the Cowboys ran for 245 yards.

They didn’t matter because the Cowboys defense continued to beat quarterbacks and generate turnovers. Against the Panthers, the defense fired Sam Darnold from Carolina five times and intercepted him twice.

When a team plays like this and wins, the coach and his team get the credit.

And some of these decisions are just weird.

In the Cowboys’ Week 3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, McCarthy had two timeouts to use late in the first half with a 20-7 lead.

Rather than using his timeouts, and potentially grabbing the ball and trying to widen the lead, McCarthy chose to keep them in his pocket.

In the Cowboys’ Week 2 win over the LA Chargers, he let special teams coach John “Bones” Fassel… do whatever he wants.

The Cowboys claimed a full punt block late in the first half, which resulted in a penalty and a first down for the Chargers.

Driving for potential winning points, the Cowboys had a timeout and were at the Chargers’ 38-yard line facing a 2nd and 6 with 33 seconds left.

McCarthy said he couldn’t find the stadium clock in the $ 5 billion SoFi Stadium, so rather than trying to get the ball closer to kicker Greg Zuerlein, they gave him a 56-yard field goal for try to win the game.

He won the game.

You will notice that the common thread after all of these decisions is that the Cowboys have won the game.

As the head coach, McCarthy has the final say … unless Jerry, Gene, Stephen, Charlotte or Jerry Jr. tells him otherwise.

These are the decisions of Magic Mike, and currently everything he does is working so well that the Dallas Cowboys go to the Super Bowl every week.

Technically, the Cowboys’ “McCarthyism” is not a problem.

At the moment, this is only a slight worry.

This story was originally published 3 October 2021 5:20 pm.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist with extensive experience covering sports in the Fort Worth-Dallas area for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, the Big Four sports teams as well as the Olympics and the entertainment world. He combines a dry wit with first-person reporting to complement almost unfair locks.
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