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Does Mike McCarthy Have the Hottest Seat in the NFL?

It’s become a really popular idea to throw Dallas coaches on the hot seat early and often. It seems like former Head Coach was on the hot seat for each of the last six seasons of his tenure with the Cowboys. And now, just one year into his run with the team, Mike McCarthy finds himself on hot seat lists and leading the way as the favorite to be the first coach fired in 2021.

Per, Mike McCarthy comes in with the highest to be the first head coach fired for 2021 at +750.


“Why don’t you explain it to me like I’m five?”

Michael Scott

John Williams

I understand some of the criticism of McCarthy. And at the same time, I don’t get why people are ready to throw him off the cliff after just one season.

Mike McCarthy’s tenure in Green Bay ended with him as the punching bag for the team’s failures his final few seasons, but this is still a head coach that has won a and he’s just one year into his tenure with the .

As we’re seeing play out in Green Bay and , it appears that McCarthy wasn’t the only problem that the Packers had to deal with. If there were ever a that you could classify as a diva, Aaron Rodgers just might be that. Fantastic player, one of the best to ever play the position, but man does he stir up drama.

The didn’t go according to plan for anyone within the Cowboys organization. to and starting offensive tackles and La’el Collins had a huge impact on the production and performance of the . That in turn, had a huge impact on the overall success of the team. Most notably, the struggled at an all-time level in 2020 and perhaps you could throw that at McCarthy’s feet for bringing in his old buddy to run the defense.

At the same time, about midseason, the Cowboys made adjustments to the defense that allowed for a bit of improvement over the second half of the season. Still, the Cowboys and McCarthy realized that Nolan was a mistake and didn’t give him another chance to see if he could improve the defense in 2021.

But it’s also important to note that the scheme wasn’t the only issue in 2020 on defense. The players underwhelmed as well. Whether it was the inconsistency of the interior , which didn’t help the play that had already been struggling, or the injuries at , the defense had a lot of issues in 2020 that go beyond just one hire. That was part of it, but certainly not the whole of it.

Then there’s the angle.

There’s a thought out there that the Dallas Cowboys could lose Kellen Moore in the 2022 if things go as well as we think they will for the Cowboys in 2021. Moore was a hot name the past two offseasons, turning down an job at Oregon and the head coaching job at Boise State to continue as the play-caller for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense.

Kellen Moore had an opportunity to jump at a head coaching job but chose to stay with the Cowboys. He’s long been earmarked for success and his decision to stay with the Cowboys shows patience that could pay off huge down the road. He’s not necessarily the head coach in waiting, but if things continue to go well for the team and it’s certainly possible that an NFL team woos him away at some point, but I don’t think that’s happening next offseason.

Of course, there is pressure to win, but there’s pressure to win for everyone in the organization. It doesn’t seem likely that the Cowboys will have the same bad luck that they had in 2020 at some of the most important positions on the field. The Cowboys would have to have everyone healthy and miss the for McCarthy to see his reign as the Cowboys’ head coach come to an end. And if everyone’s healthy, I have a hard time believing they miss the playoffs. The offense is going to be too good and the defense will be better.

Mike McCarthy may be feeling some pressure as he enters his second season as the head coach with the Dallas Cowboys, but I wouldn’t bet on him being the first coach fired between now and next offseason.

What do you think?


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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