Cowboys Mike McCarthy is the rule, not the exception in 2020

Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy  is on par with most first-year head coaches

While the year 2020 has been an especially difficult one, it’s been particularly harsh for first-year NFL head coaches. And as the new head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy has seemed to suffer more than most.

McCarthy was hired this offseason to replace longtime head coach Jason Garrett in Dallas. Garrett started his tenure back in 2010 as the interim head-coach, replacing Wade Phillips midseason.

Unfortunately, Garrett was only able to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs three times in nine years, winning a total of two postseason games and never getting past the divisional round. In comparison, McCarthy was not only able to lead the Green Bay Packers to the playoffs nine times during his near 13-year run as head coach, but he was able to win a Super Bowl in 2010.

Needless to say, there was a high level of excitement when the Cowboys brought on McCarthy to led America’s Team into the next decade. But that excitement soon turned to despair when Dallas struggled out of the gate, losing three of their first four games.

And any hopes of eclipsing their 8-8 record from the previous year under Garrett all but evaporated following the loss of their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, to a season-ending ankle injury in Week Five.

Through Week 12 of the NFL regular season, the Cowboys have a depressing record of 3-8 and sit in the basement of the NFC East. A division so putrid that Dallas is only two games out of first place.

Mike McCarthy was one of five new NFL head coaches in 2020

But when it comes to first-year head coaches in the NFL, McCarthy is actual the rule not the exception among his peers. Five new head coaches were hired across the league this offseason. And all but one are in the same sinking boat as McCarthy and his Cowboys.

Those other first-year head coaches include Matt Rhule of the 4-8 Carolina Panthers, Joe Judge of the 4-7 New York Giants, Ron Rivera of the 4-7 Washington Football Team, and Kevin Stefanski of the surprising 8-3 Cleveland Browns.

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Of the five new head coaches in the NFL this season, Mike McCarthy was expected to have the most success due to the talented roster he inherited. Yet, the only head coach to truly be the exception to the rule is Kevin Stefanski. McCarthy, Matt Rhule, Joe Judge, and Ron Rivera have all faced some unique challenges in 2020. And all share near-identical, disappointing first-year records.