Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy isn’t winning any popularity contests among fans, and his failed fourth down decisions on Thanksgiving Day against NFC East rival Washington set Twitter ablaze with harsh criticism.
Social media is already a cold place in arctic reality for anyone under the microscope as a public figure, and McCarthy wasn’t spared when he and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore decided to dial up a pass play in which Andy Dalton threw incomplete to CeeDee Lamb in the second quarter. A simple run with Ezekiel Elliott probably would’ve done the job.
Spoiler alert: the fourth-down McCarthyisms got worse later on as the Cowboys wound up routed by a score of 41-16 to fall to 3-8, one game behind Washington (4-7) for the NFC East lead.
Twitter reacts to 1st Mike McCarthy blunder
Worse yet, the first turnover on downs came at Dallas’ own 34 yard-line, and tight end Dalton Schultz exacerbated the situation by drawing a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Predictably, this sequence of unfortunate events led to a Washington touchdown as the visitors went up 17-10 with 2:30 remaining in the first half.
On this holiday in which the spirit of gratitude is meant to be in fashion, you can bet fans of America’s Team aren’t counting their lucky stars that McCarthy is running the show. That’s especially so due to how ruthless the haters are:
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Mike McCarthy’s encore fourth down was somehow worse
Yep, so a fake punt on 4th and 10 is as bad of an idea as it sounds. Cedrick Wilson lost a yard on the ill-fated run:
One play later, Antonio Gibson scampered 23 yards for a touchdown to put Washington up 27-16. Twitter wasn’t kind to our man McCarthy.
Will Mike McCarthy be a one-and-done Cowboys coach?
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was loyal to Jason Garrett perhaps to a fault, as Dallas could never quite get over the hump with its longtime coach. But this new direction under McCarthy’s leadership looks like an immediate dead end, and he’s already among the coaches with the hottest seats in the league.
The NFC East is so awful that the ‘Boys still have a shot to win the division and qualify for the playoffs. However, no one is scared of facing this bunch in the postseason. Granted, the offensive line is banged up, Andy Dalton is starting in place of an injured Dak Prescott at quarterback, and the defense is clearly in an antiquated system masterminded by coordinator Mike Nolan.
All those factors aside, there has to be some sort of accountability for these boneheaded decisions McCarthy seems incapable of avoiding on game day. Toward the beginning of the season in a loss to the Rams, McCarthy decided to roll the dice on fourth down in a very bizarre decision that wound up costing Dallas a real chance at a win.