5 Cowboys Players Who Will Be Gone if Mike McCarthy is Fired

If HC Mike McCarthy is given the axe in Dallas following an early postseason exit, these five Cowboys players could find themselves playing elsewhere sooner than later.

RB Tony Pollard is one of five Cowboys players who could be gone if HC Mike McCarthy is fired.
RB Tony Pollard is one of five Cowboys players who could be gone if HC Mike McCarthy is fired. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Brandin Cooks, WR

Cowboys fans were thrilled when the team acquired wideout Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans in exchange for two late draft picks last offseason. After all, the ex-Oregon State product has been one of the most consistent receivers over the last decade, registering six 1,000-yard campaigns since the start of 2015.

If Cooks could live up to the hype, he'd be a great complement to CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup in the WR room.

Instead, Cooks' campaign was somewhat underwhelming. Although his eight TDs were tied for the second-most of his career, his 41.1 receiving yards per game was a personal-worst while his three drops indicated some ball security issues. Some of his production woes can be pinned on McCarthy just opting not to use the veteran early on in the season, though.

But even if McCarthy is sent packing, it isn't a guarantee that Cooks will return. Although he's still under contract for one more year with a $10 million cap hit, Spotrac projects the Cowboys to be about $11 million over the 2024 limit. If a new head coach thinks that he needs a certain area beefed up, Cooks' contract could be shipped out to help address those needs.

After all, the Cowboys can save $4 million before June 1 or $8 million after that date with a trade.