1. Mike McCarthy, Head Coach
Okay, so saying Mike McCarthy is on ‘thin ice’ might be a bit of a stretch but he was clearly an issue in Week 9. Not only did he mismanage the clock at the end of the game but he also failed to challenge a spot in the first quarter that could have swung momentum in a big way.
Outside of that, he continues to make baffling decisions when it comes to the team’s running back usage.
For as good as Tony Pollard can be, the veteran running back isn’t having his best season. He’s gained 474 yards but is averaging just 4.0 yards per attempt.
Part of the reason for his low average is that he’s rarely getting a breather. While it’s true he can handle the workload, it also helps to get another back out there the defense has to deal with. And Dallas has one player who has done well whenever he gets a chance, Rico Dowdle.
On the year, Dowdle has 133 yards on 35 attempts but has never been given more than seven carries in a game — which was in their Week 2 blowout over the Jets.
This past weekend, he had eight yards on two rushes but also turned in an 18-yarder that was negated by a penalty. Despite showing that mix of burst and power, Dowdle remained on the sideline for the majority of the game.
McCarthy boasts a good record and has the Cowboys in contention but he needs to learn to get out of his own way.