Cowboys Dud: Mike McCarthy, Head Coach
One of the biggest knocks on Mike McCarthy throughout his career has been his insane clock management gaffes. On Monday Night Football, he had one for the ages.
With his offense taking over with 58 seconds to go and two time outs at their disposal, McCarthy dialed up enough plays to get them down to the 14-yard line and they took the lead on a 32-yard field goal from Brandon Aubrey. But they should have at least had a shot at seven if not for McCarthy holding them back.
First, he elected not to call his first time out following an 11-yard catch from Michael Gallup with 50 seconds to go. Instead, the clock ran down to 27 seconds before their next play, which ended with a hold.
Dallas still found a way to get it to the 14 with eight seconds to go but McCarthy elected to let the clock run down to three seconds before stopping it and played it safe with the field goal.
There's not a coach in the league that would say this was the right call and what made it worse is the fact that even the play clock operator tried to bail him out by stopping the clock after Tony Pollard caught it at the 14. McCarthy intervened and told the refs no, making them wind it down so he could attempt the kick.
In addition to this, he's continued to struggle as a play-caller, including an ill-advised run on second-and-10 in his own territory that gave the Chargers the momentum back after a huge fourth-down stop from the defense.
McCarthy has put up a solid record overall but continues to have these lapses while also sending out one of the least disciplined teams in the league. In this one, they were penalized 11 times for 85 yards which is completely inexcusable — but also expected from his squad at this point.