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    Zuerlein’s Clutch Kick Saves Coach McCarthy From Bigger Media Beatdown

    It was a rough Monday for Mike McCarthy after some ugly nearly cost the their Week 2 victory over the . But with his stunning game-winning field goal, saved his an even bigger beatdown from the national media after the apparent gaffe.

    Driving to get into Zuerlein's range on their last possession, the Cowboys were at 2nd-and-6 from the Chargers' 41-yard line, which meant a 56-yard attempt. While that wouldn't scare Greg “The Leg” in his prime, the veteran on made 3-of-9 from 50+ yards in 2020 and started this season with a very shaky performance against Tampa Bay.

    Despite these concerns, Dallas surprisingly let nearly 25 seconds run off the clock before finally calling a timeout. With time to run at least a couple plays to help get Zuerlein closer for the field goal attempt, the Cowboys inexplicably made the veteran's job about as hard as possible.

    Thankfully, Greg delivered. And while his clutch kick defused would've been an absolute explosion of criticism against McCarthy, it still wasn't a great Monday for the Cowboys' coach.

    In his postgame comments, McCarthy blamed issues with seeing the clock at SoFi Stadium on the seemingly poor . This didn't seem to go over well with many national commentators, with some even calling McCarthy a liar.

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    While some have come to his in response to the backlash, Mike has a reputation for clock management issues going back to his Packers years. And unlike , whose sins in this area have now become almost comic relief and forgiven, McCarthy is still trying to prove that he's the right man for the Cowboys and not just a beneficiary of ' greatness.

    The clutch win on Sunday definitely helped. It was the kind of game that Dallas fans are all too familiar with and felt like it was headed to a very bad outcome. We've seen far too many of those close contests slip through our fingers in recent .

    Going 0-2 to start the year, even in the face of injuries and the “moral victory” from , would've been a big blow to McCarthy's credibility. It would've put enough blood in the water for a feeding frenzy from both fans and sports media.

    Of course, the Cowboys could've surged back from a two-game deficit to contend in the and accomplish any other goals they've set for 2021. Even now there's a three-way tie in the division between Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington with their mutual 1-1 records.

    But Sunday night and Monday would've be much, much uglier for Mike McCarthy without Greg Zuerlein's heroics. The legitimacy of his excuse is up for debate, but ultimately he's going to get a pass because the Cowboys still got the win.

    Hopefully, Mike knows where all the clocks are for next Monday's meeting with the Eagles.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    Todd

    Regardless of how this team performs this year Mike is gone at the end of the year. Kellen Moore is going to be a hot commodity and there is no way Jerry is letting him walk Sean Payton did years ago. Mike is no Bill Parcells and Jerry will not hesitate to jettison him in favor of keeping Moore in the fold.

    VAM

    Forget about the media and the fans, I’m wondering if the players have lost a bit of confidence in their HC. That may be more problematic, IMO.

    gary b

    I figure a great coach is worth a few wins extra a year. A good coach maybe one. A mediocre coach good for one loss. A poor coach will have a losing team. Which is McCarthy.

    Cowboy Fan Ed

    I’m not ready to throw MM under the bus just yet ! One thing that kinda concerns me was he bringing MN in last year to run our defense and we all know how that turned out but he retained KM as our OC which as of now seem like a pretty good move! I still wish we would get another kicker Greg the Leg might hit a 70 yard field goal and turn around and miss an extra point I personally would like to have somebody that is more consistent!

    gary b

    I’m with you Cowboys Fan Ed- I would rather have a kicker that makes all the ones he’s suppose to, then one that can kick 60 yarders. I cringe every time he kicks and it shouldn’t be that way.

    GhostProtocol

    Kellen Moore could be retained with a raise, a “promise”, and a title change (Asst. HC). He’ll get some play around the league, but he really hasn’t earned his stripes yet. He’s done nothing more than show some growth as a play-caller (which has been boosted by insane talent he won’t get with a bottom-feeder). That’s all we’ve seen …. nothing to suggest he is a leader of men, or is ready to run an organization … especially an organization that is likely experiencing a rebuild.