Mike McCarthy shaping the Dallas Cowboys into his own

Dallas Cowboys Head coach Mike McCarthy (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys Head coach Mike McCarthy (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

After losing their seventh straight divisional playoff game and watching those filthy Philadelphia Eagles advance to the Super Bowl, all the Dallas Cowboys can do is think about how they missed a golden opportunity to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Of course, there are several positives to take away from the 2022 season: winning a total of 13 games, beating Tom Brady in the playoffs, a defense leading the league in takeaways in consecutive years, and having cornerstone players like CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, Tony Pollard, and Dak Prescott.

But with all of those positives comes lofty expectations when you wear the star on your helmet. Even though the majority of the current players were not born yet or were toddlers when the Cowboys won their last Super Bowl back in 1995, the expectation is to win a Super Bowl if the team is really talented.

Dallas Cowboys head coach, Mike McCarthy, is shaping this team into his imagine and likeness.

As I stated in the second paragraph of this article, the Dallas Cowboys had plenty of positives to celebrate as a team. After they lost Prescott to a Week 1 injury, many thought their season was over.

After San Francisco ended their season for the second year in  row, something different had to happen. Yet nobody foresaw a scenario where Coach Big Mac would send assistant coaches packing.

And when offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, was surprisingly fired (some reports say mutually parted ways), a strong message had been sent throughout the organization about the future of this team. Especially when Coach Big Mac stated that Moore would be evaluated like all of the other coaches.

Coach Big Mac is shaping this team into his identity: playing physical on both sides of the ball. I have more respect for any coach that wants to go out winning or losing on their own accord.

Moore leaving was significant because he was Jerry Jones’ “golden child” and deemed untouchable because of he was perceived as an “offensive genius” and the next great coach in waiting. While Moore deserves his credit for leading one of the highest scoring offenses  during his tenure as OC, he also deserves his share of criticism for his bland play calling, basic schemes, and being out coached against better defensive coordinators.

This led to Coach Big Mac making major changes throughout his coaching staff to give this team the best opportunity to succeed. Firstly, he will call the plays like he did as the head coach in Green Bay where he saw success. Secondly, he will find better coaches who can coach up the offensive linemen, running backs, and linebackers. Lastly, making sure there are no coaches with any links to former head coach Jason Garrett.

At Green Bay, Coach Big Mac believed in a physical, run oriented offense that featured a heavy usage of the tight ends. The Packers ran the ball well and their offensive line dominated defensive lines on the regular, one of the main reasons why Aaron Rodgers was one of the most protected/least sacked quarterbacks in the league.

During the Packers Super Bowl run in 2010, the Packers offense ran for 1,606 yards for 11 touchdowns, and a young Rodgers accounted for 356 of those yards and four touchdowns. The Packers relied on their running game to set up play action pass for Rodgers, who passed for 3,922 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

The Packers would tack on another 404 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the playoffs, all stemming from a physical brand of football. As you can see, Rodgers used his mobility as an advantage in the Packers running game.

This is another reason Coach Big Mac will take over the play calling duties because he can play to Dak’s strengths-like running the ball-instead of his weaknesses. Dak is faster, taller, and bigger than Rodgers (Dak is listed at 6’3 and weighing 240) and would be more of a threat running the ball. Another offensive weapon to keep defenses off balance.

Under Moore, Dak rarely used his legs when the opportunity was there for the taking. If Daniel Jones can pick up seven first downs against the Minnesota Vikings, I know Dak can do the same thing because it is a difference maker. Look at how the Eagles used Jalen Hurts mobility and he is now an MVP candidate.

I am not saying Dak has to be a running quarterback but using his mobility is must moving forward!

And when it comes to Dak’s uncharacteristically high interception totals, this is an area where Coach Big Mac succeeds and can help Dak tremendously. Half of Dak’s interceptions came because of tipped balls off his receivers’ hands but also because of poorly designed route concepts, bad route running, and receivers lack  separation. That is a blueprint for interceptions, regardless of how perfect the pass may be.

Sidenote: There is a belief that Coach Big Mac will use the West Coast offense

Coach Big Mac taught Rodgers to the importance of taking care of the ball while at the same time still being aggressive when the opportunity presents itself. It’s one of the main reasons why Rodgers have some of the best TD/interception ratio in NFL history. While calling the plays in Green Bay, the routes were different from Moore’s and was deeply rooted in the West Coast offense, a system that would benefit Dak.

This identity has already shifted to the players, too. For example, Dallas already has three talented and bully tight ends in rookies Jake Ferguson/Peyton Hendershot, second-year player Sean McKeon, and the dependable but efficient Dalton Schultz. These tight ends allow Dallas to use more 12/13 personnel (12= tight ends/ 13=three tight ends) and be more physical with their running game.

In conclusion,

Coach Big Mac joined elite company in Dallas Cowboys history by winning 25 games in two seasons, but he also is the first coach in franchise history to win that many games and not win the Super Bowl either. Falling short of reaching that goal led to the dismissal of several coaches and taking the reigns of play calling and anything else he can control to get this franchise back to its Super Bowl-winning ways.

Whether you like Coach Big Mac coaching style or not, the man is a really good coach. He has flaws but so do the other 31 NFL coaches people clamor about as if they are without reproach. Yes, he has his flaws when it comes to clock management, but he is the same coach that won four straight  games (5 total including win over the Vikings in 2021) with a backup quarterback (Cooper Rush) that kept Dallas’ playoff hopes alive to finish the regular season 12-5. And Dallas never had a two-game losing streak this past season.

I am not putting Coach Big Mac on Mount Rushmore or anything like that, but I want to point out he is by far the best coach Dallas has had since Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells retired because of Jerry’s meddling ways. What must be noted is how he had the gumption to make the necessary changes to make this team better, while firing a long-time friend like Joe Philbin.

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Coach Big Mac is shaping this team into his identity: playing physical on both sides of the ball. I have more respect for any coach that wants to go out winning or losing on their own accord.

So, on this titanic of ship known as the Dallas Cowboys, Coach Big will either win successfully or sink playing his own violin.