“This is very sickening,” said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after the team’s loss in the Divisional Round.
For the second straight year, the Cowboys were eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers. Only this time, things looked different. This time, the Cowboys defense showed up for most of the game. They even made the 49ers rushing offense a non-factor, allowing only 3.5 yards per rush attempt.
It was the Cowboys offense that didn’t live up to expectations, producing only 12 points of offense and turning the ball over twice. Dak Prescott threw two costly interceptions and failed to show up in the do-or-die drive of the game with little over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The unproductive performance brings back all kinds of painful questions for the Cowboys. Is Dak Prescott the guy at quarterback? Should there be changes to the coaching staff? What happens now?
All of that will be discussed at length over the next few months, at least until Cowboys Nation can turn the page and start thinking about free agency and the NFL Draft.
In the meantime, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a strong statement about HC Mike McCarthy and his job security following the playoff loss. Asked if the loss changed his mind on McCarthy’s job being safe, Jones had a simple but firm reply.
“No, not at all,” the Cowboys owner told reporters postgame.
Jerry Jones said this loss has no impact on Mike McCarthy’s job pic.twitter.com/he2rCuhCXX— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 23, 2023
McCarthy’s Cowboys won 12 games in each of the past two seasons and he now has a 1-2 playoff record in the postseason as the team’s head coach. Although the loss is frustrating, there’s certainly an argument to be made that McCarthy is the right HC for this team.
The question, however, will become how can this team get better. Having a solid QB-HC duo is enough to get you into the tournament consistently, as the Cowboys have learned in recent years. How can you take the next step?
This offseason will be all about that.
Featured image via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports