The biggest blow the Dallas Cowboys received on Sunday was the news that quarterback Dak Prescott needs surgery to fix a thumb injury and will be out for several weeks. Unfortunately for the Cowboys and head coach Mike McCarthy, things weren’t going swimmingly before the injury.
Dallas kicked a field goal on the game’s opening drive and was shut out for the rest of the night. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Cowboys 19-3 and looking at the stats, it’s not hard to see why. Dallas was outgained in total yards (347-244), passing yards (195-173) and rushing yards (152-71). While each team forced one turnover, the Cowboys committed 10 penalties for 73 yards. Tampa, meanwhile, committed five penalties for 25 yards.
McCarthy has long been one of the NFL’s most heavily criticized coaches. During and after Sunday night’s game, McCarthy’s critics were vocal.
Mike McCarthy is an awful coach.
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) September 12, 2022
Fire Mike McCarthy
— Master (@MasterTes) September 12, 2022
The #Cowboys offense has been so ineffective that Mike McCarthy hasn't even had an opportunity to mismanage the clock.
— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) September 12, 2022
These Mike McCarthy teams are absolutely disgusting to watch.
— 𝙹𝙸𝙼𝙼𝚈 𝙶𝚁𝙴𝙴𝙽𝙱𝙴𝙰𝙽𝚂 (@soonersonly) September 12, 2022
That's about as bad a performance I have seen from a Cowboys offense in a long time.
Wooo buddy, to be in that next meeting between Jerry and Mike McCarthy.
— JOHN JOHNSON II (@TheJJohnsonTV) September 12, 2022
Is Mike McCarthy the Mike Budenholzer of the NFL?
– Both won a championship in Wisconsin
– Both look habitually confused about how to do their job pic.twitter.com/HkqP4pppVA
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) September 12, 2022
Mike McCarthy looks like me when my kids start misbehaving in public and I have no idea what to do.
— Julius Sharpe (@juliussharpe) September 12, 2022
Mike McCarthy's expression has not changed ONCE. No anger. No happiness. Nothing. Just standing there.
— The Landry Hat (@LandryHat) September 12, 2022
No one waves the white flag as readily as Mike McCarthy.
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) September 12, 2022
Scott Frost thinks Mike McCarthy should be fired.
— Joey Knish (@JoeyKnish22) September 12, 2022
Mike McCarthy drawing up plays on the sideline like: pic.twitter.com/A5re6vG7pK
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) September 12, 2022
Mike McCarthy next year pic.twitter.com/GQJi2vT97J
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) September 12, 2022
This is McCarthy’s third season in Dallas. In the first year, Prescott played only five games and the Cowboys went 6-10. Conversely, Dak missed only one game in 2021 and Dallas won the NFC East, going 12-5. So, the injury to Prescott could potentially complicate how Jones judges his head coach.
But Sunday night was not a good start to the 2022 season for McCarthy or the Cowboys. With or without the starting quarterback, it’s hard to imagine McCarthy keeping his job if too many more of those occur.