Cowboys Mike McCarthy finishes above Sean McVay on PFF’s coach rankings

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

Being the Dallas Cowboys head coach comes with a massive spotlight, and Mike McCarthy knows that. He’s discussed that there is a lot of non-football-related stuff that he wishes he didn’t have to deal with as a coach, but he tries to take it all in stride. Some Cowboys fans think McCarthy should’ve been fired after the San Francisco loss, and others feel he has made serious improvements to this team.

In a recent Pro Football Focus article, Conor McQuiston took a shot at ranking 26 NFL head coaches (who had to have coached at least one season to qualify) into tiers. Those tiers were: Tier 1 Hall of Fame Coaches, Tier 2 Good Coaches, Tier 3 Average Coaches, and Tier 4 Room for Improvement.

McQuiston used quite a unique approach to his rankings. He admitted that it’s hard to evaluate a coach without taking rosters into account. It’s easy to argue that any NFL coach would take a team to the playoffs if that team had the strongest set of players. His formula used a lot of numbers and is quite complicated, but he did explain it all on “Good Morning Football,” if you’re interested. Essentially, he estimated each coach’s efficacy by figuring out how many games each team could win with an “average” team, which was defined as a team that could score and allow 348 points in a season.

So, after all the numbers and research… where did McCarthy end up? For a man who is always thought to be on the hot seat, McCarthy landed farther up than some may have expected. He was the 10th-ranked coach under Tier 2 on the list, somehow beating out names like Sean McVay (11) and Mike Tomlin (13). Having the 10th best coach out of the 26 who coached for at least one season could be worse, Cowboys fans.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy ranked as the 10th best coach in NFL, according to Pro Football Focus

Part of the criticism of McCarthy is that people typically equate all of his success to his players – like Aaron Rodgers. Here’s the breakdown and math done by PFF:

"(9.7 – 7.3 RECORD WITH AVERAGE ROSTER)Offensive Rank: 5/26 (+68 points scored a season)Defensive Rank: 25/26 (+15 points scored a season)While there were criticisms of McCarthy’s play calling in Green Bay — he doesn’t call plays in Dallas — he has had no issue helming prolific offenses throughout his career. His Achilles heel, however, is his seeming inability to oversee defensive performances that live up to his teams’ talent level."

The reality is that the Cowboys went from 6-10 to 12-5 in one year. McCarthy has to be doing something right. But as the head coach of Dallas, 12-5 without a playoff run just isn’t enough. With tough games against the Bucs and Bengals in the first two weeks, McCarthy will need his team to have a strong start to 2022 to keep Jerry Jones and fans off his tail.

Next. The 3 Biggest Weaknesses on Cowboys Roster. dark