Report: Mike McCarthy’s Future Could Hinge on Cowboys’ Playoff Success

Report: Mike McCarthy’s Future Could Hinge on Cowboys’ Playoff Success article feature image

Kara Durrette/Getty Images. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.

The Dallas Cowboys have a lengthy history of shuffling through head coaches who haven't successfully ended their 27-year long Super Bowl drought. According to a new report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Mike McCarthy's future will hinge on whether he can convince the organization that he can be the coach to finally hoist the Lombardi trophy for America's team.

There continues to be a feeling from people around the league, and even some within the Cowboys organization, that coach Mike McCarthy will be measured by how Dallas' final game goes.

If the Cowboys play well in the postseason, McCarthy would have an excellent chance to keep his job. But if they struggle and end the season with an embarrassing loss, as has happened in each of the past two years, then some say that change could come to Dallas.

The situation remains unsettled either way, and both the Cowboys and McCarthy — fairly or unfairly — have plenty to prove Sunday against Washington and then in the postseason.

That puts quite a lot of pressure on the Cowboys to impress in their final game of the season and to reverse their history of quick outs in the NFL playoffs.

The Cowboys essentially have a lock on the No. 2 seed — meaning they would only go on the road to face the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs — as long as they can beat their division rival Washington Commanders on the road.

At the time of this writing, the Cowboys are 13.5-point favorites against the Commanders, who are in contention for the N0. 2 pick in the draft. The Cowboys are 3-1 straight up in that spot under McCarthy; the one loss came against the ArizonaCardinals in late September, one of the biggest upsets of the season. It would take another monumental breakdown for the Cowboys to fumble away the division, which is evident by their -1200 odds to win the NFC East at DraftKings.

The playoffs are more murky for the Cowboys. They have the second-best odds to win the NFC (+370 at DraftKings) and the fourth-best odds to win the Super Bowl (+850) behind the 49ers (+220), Ravens (+300) and Bills (+800). Their postseason history doesn't inspire confidence. They haven't made it past the divisional round since winning the Super Bowl in the 1995 season. They also have been bounced out of the postseason as the home team four times over that span — '98 playoffs vs. Cardinals, '07 playoffs vs. Giants, '16 playoffs vs. Packers and '21 playoffs vs. 49ers.

It appears McCarthy is on the clock as the Cowboys' head coach and the ultimate deciding factor will be wins, both this week and beyond. We'll see how he manages that clock over the next month.

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