5 Cowboys on the hot seat entering the NFL Playoffs

• A forgotten WR

• Injuries in the secondary ramp up the pressure

• Playing QB for the Cowboys leads to criticism

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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2. Mike McCarthy, Head Coach

They won 12 games for the third time in a row and Mike McCarthy is now 42-25 overall with Dallas. The only regular season blemish on his record is the 6-10 campaign in 2020, which was his first year with America's Team. They were also without Dak Prescott for much of the season after he broke his ankle.

Since then, they've been one of the toughest teams to face and this year, they wound up with the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Earning that seed was huge for them since it means they will have at least one game at home in the playoffs. Considering they were 8-0 at home and 4-5 on the road, this could be the difference between a deep run and an early exit.

For McCarthy, the heat will be on since early exits have been their thing. While it's not completely fair to him, this franchise is starved for postseason success since they haven't been to the NFC title game since 1996. McCarthy, who does have a Super Bowl ring, was supposed to help them get over the hump but to date, he's just 1-2 in the playoffs.

In each of the past two seasons, they suffered a loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. In both of those defeats, their offense was unable to score more than 17 points. That was with Kellen Moore as the offensive coordinator and things are supposed to be different now that McCarthy is calling plays. With rumors persisting that Jerry Jones could move on if there's a disastrous finish, the heat is on for the veteran head coach.