It’s been said that Mike McCarthy will return as Cowboys head coach next season, but some of the decisions he’s made this season should give management reason to think otherwise.
McCarthy has made a number of head-scratching decisions during games this season, and it’s fair to wonder if at least one of the team’s 10 losses could’ve been a win, had someone else been calling the shots. His game management and situational knowledge may not be where they need to be, given some of the decisions he’s made in his first season as head coach.
One of his worst of the season came during Sunday’s Week 17 game against the Giants, at a pivotal moment. It was ruled by officials that Dante Pettis caught a pass late in the fourth quarter, but the ball clearly hit the ground. McCarthy chose not to challenge it, however, and the Giants kicked a 50-yard field goal. Had he challenged it, though, he clearly would’ve won it, and the Giants would’ve been forced to punt.
The decision proved costly, as the Cowboys lost the game, 23-19. McCarthy explained why he elected not to throw the challenge flag in speaking to reporters afterward.
“Just felt it was too close,” McCarthy said, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Felt it was a bang-bang situation and the fact of the matter is we were in a tight game and the three timeouts was obviously of high value there. We just didn’t think there was enough information to overturn it.”
Instead, McCarthy burned his timeouts on the Giants’ final drive, with the Cowboys offense never even getting the football back. Not challenging the play was a major fail on his part, and he should’ve just owned it.