Sportress of Blogitude

Mike McCarthy: Better days ahead for Cowboys despite awful season

Mike McCarthy’s debut season with the Dallas Cowboys has been a complete disaster, but the embattled head coach insists better days are on the horizon despite widespread frustration in the locker room and front office over a nightmarish season.

“We’re not where we need to be. Clearly. Our record reflects it,” McCarthy said, per Todd Archer of ESPN. “We can improve on a number of things. It’s just not one area. One person. Everybody’s 3-9 right now, so we all need to do a better job.”

The Cowboys were unable to recover from a 2-4 start, not to mention the season-ending ankle injury suffered by Dak Prescott on Oct. 11. As the team stumbled out of the gate, a damning report also surfaced that detailed how Cowboys players felt McCarthy and his staff were “totally unprepared” and “just aren’t good at their jobs.”

While Cowboys brass continued to back McCarthy as the season progressed, such an unflattering indictment hardly paints the coach in his staff in a positive light.

McCarthy obviously was dealt a tough hand with the Prescott injury and the team predictably struggled in its aftermath. The veteran coach nevertheless failed to rally the team in the ensuing weeks. Still, the much-maligned McCarthy continues to preach positivity.

“It’s definitely a challenge. We’re all in this to win. Make no mistake about it. No one is happy,” McCarthy said. “No one likes where we are today. But I think to a man everybody sees the opportunity to continue to build. We still have a number of opportunities in front of us. With that, my focus has always been about improving. We definitely need to improve.

“This has been a hard stretch. And it’s just really the stretch has been difficult because the number of challenges that everybody in this league goes through. We’re just not doing as well as we’d like with the multiple challenges that we’ve had. I’m glad to be a Dallas Cowboy. I love it here. This is a phenomenal opportunity. Make no mistake about it. This is not where we intended to be. This is not where we’re going to stay.”

If he was with any other team, McCarthy likely would be among the head coaches expected to be pink-slipped on Black Monday, if not sooner. The Cowboys operate differently than most NFL organizations, which begins and ends with owner/general manager Jerry Jones’ ironclad control of every aspect of the organization.

Jones brought in McCarthy with great fanfare, and it’s unlikely someone with his ego is amenable to admitting so quickly that he completely blew it by giving McCarthy a five-year deal.

In other words, Jones better hope that McCarthy’s optimistic outlook isn’t the case of an under-fire coach simply blowing smoke.