Mike McCarthy is putting together a long list of playoff failures that’s carrying over to the Cowboys

Mike McCarthy is putting together a long list of playoff failures that’s carrying over to the Cowboys

Head coach Mike McCarthy will stay with the Dallas Cowboys for at least one more season.

It’s a difficult scenario because, despite their recent success in the regular season, the Cowboys never seem to be able to get off their bad postseason performance.

Mike McCarthy is putting together a long list of playoff failures that’s carrying over to the Cowboys
Mike McCarthy is putting together a long list of playoff failures that’s carrying over to the Cowboys

Each of us has an own viewpoint on McCarthy. We are aware that he has a Lombardi Trophy in his den.

He will never lose that to anybody. However, that is of no concern to Cowboys fans.

We are particularly interested in the second trophy because he has carried his championship pedigree to Dallas.

However, when will that take place? We’re not sure if McCarthy’s latest postseason disaster is ever going to happen.

Furthermore, his postseason performance since winning the Super Bowl hasn’t been all that impressive.

We’ll look at a couple things today that can give the Cowboys head coach a bad impression.


Winning a Super Bowl is great. Once you achieve this feat as a head coach, you’re immediately propelled into legendary status.

And even when that luster starts to wear off, a head coach is still viewed as a hot commodity.

Such is the case with McCarthy. His success in Green Bay culminating in a Super Bowl victory in AT&T Stadium back in 2010 was all Jerry Jones needed to make him his guy.

But as we’ve seen before, success with one team doesn’t translate to success with another.

Bill Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants before retiring.

After a two-year hiatus, Parcells returned to the NFL and gave it another go with three different teams, the New England

Patriots (Super Bowl), the New York Jets (AFC Championship), and even the Cowboys (Wild Card).

He led all three of those teams to the playoffs, but never again would he win another Super Bowl.

It has been tried by other coaches as well. After coaching the Chicago Bears to victory in the 1985 Super Bowl, Mike Dikta

went on to coach the New Orleans Saints to three consecutive losing seasons.

After a 3-13 season with that dumpster fire of a Washington team, Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, was dismissed by Dan

Snyder after winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.

Jimmy Johnson even played for the Miami Dolphins for four seasons, leading them to three postseason appearances, but he was never able to duplicate his incredible success in Dallas.

Every circumstance is unique. Not that McCarthy can’t be that guy, but keep in mind that many others have attempted to be that guy and failed.


Since every situation is different, it’s hard to know if firing a head coach was the right choice until there is more evidence available.

For the Cowboys, they are coming off of three straight 12-5 seasons. Twice they won the division, the other time they got into the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

Before McCarthy arrived in Dallas, the Cowboys were on an every-other-year playoff schedule, so this seems like an obvious upgrade over their previous coach Jason Garrett.

Under Garrett’s reign, the Cowboys were always a good team, but never good enough.

McCarthy was brought in to be a difference-maker in the postseason. Oddly enough, that postseason success hasn’t shown up.

  • Last six years under Garrett, three playoff appearances, three Divisional Round losses
  • Last four years under McCarthy, three playoff appearances, one Divisional Round loss, and two Wild Card losses

When it comes to performing in the postseason, McCarthy’s Cowboys are actually worse.

Adding insult to injury is the success of McCarthy’s successor in Green Bay, Matt LaFleur.

Since taking over in 2019, he started with three straight 13-3 seasons and has taken the Packers to the playoffs in four of his five seasons.

  • Last five years under LaFleur, four playoff appearances, two Conference Championship losses, and two Divisional Round losses

LaFleur doesn’t need to tell us how good he is with the Packers because they just demolished the Cowboys.

I’m not sure if McCarthy is the ideal guy for Dallas, but in Green Bay, the people have spoken, and switching from McCarthy to LaFleur was the proper move.


McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers have been the center of conversations as to which one played the biggest role in Green Bay’s success.

The same debate occurred with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady before Brady won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay while the

Patriots franchise slowly started to sink. As it turns out, quarterbacks are pretty important.

A future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, Rodgers shares Brady’s stature.

However, Rodgers has only won one championship, unlike Brady. Despite spending 11 seasons together in Green Bay,

McCarthy and Rodgers were only able to win one Super Bowl together.

That appears a little lacking if McCarthy is a genuinely excellent coach.

To be fair, this situation is not as clear-cut as the Brady/Belichick one because neither has returned to the big stage without the other.

In any case, McCarthy appears to have lost out on this chance, and it doesn’t give one hope that the Cowboys, led by Dak Prescott, struggled in the postseason following his All-Pro year.


We all know that McCarthy won a Super Bowl with the Packers, but that was 13 years ago.

There’s a lot of football that has been played between now and then and when you sit down and start looking at what McCarthy has done since, it’s a little puzzling.

There’s no question he’s been a regular-season beast, but so have the Cowboys if we think about it.

Both teams are one of the more successful regular-season teams over the past two decades.

If you were to look at the 13 seasons from 2006 to 2018 when McCarthy coached the Packers, you might be surprised to find how close the Cowboys and Packers are.

  • Packers = 125 regular season wins
  • Cowboys = 120 regular season wins

The playoffs must be the true divider, then, isn’t that right? However, the events that have transpired since their 2010 Super Bowl victory are a tad lacklustre.

They have, in fact, advanced to the Conference Championship twice while the Cowboys have not; nonetheless, their victories over our Cowboys in heartbreaking defeats coincided with their advancement.

Aside from those significant victories, Green Bay has also experienced some fair share of postseason letdowns.

Recall what transpired following a last-second field goal victory over the Cowboys in 2016?

Or what about after beating Dallas in 2014 after that whole Dez no-catch fiasco?

The year after winning the Super Bowl in 2011, the Packers finished 15-1 and had the top seed in the NFC, only to get

bounced right away when they got smoked 37-20 by the New York Giants.

When you think about it, McCarthy’s last eight seasons in Green Bay look very similar to his first four seasons in Dallas.

Over his eight seasons with the Packers, McCarthy’s lone noteworthy accomplishment has been defeating the Cowboys.

And it seems as though he has brought the same playoff purgatory to Dallas since joining the Cowboys.

McCarthy has maintained our playoff luck rather than altered it.

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