Anonymous Cowboys defending Mike McCarthy adds new wrinkle to coaching speculation

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans are in a tough position following the team's unexpected playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. It's not just that the Cowboys got beat. They did everything to make the game a disaster and now questions surround Mike McCarthy's future as head coach.

Jerry Jones didn't drop any hints of a potential firing, but his "floored" reaction and calling the defeat the "most painful" he's been a part is noteworthy. Beyond Jones' reaction, Sunday was the kind of disaster that demands a move.

Nobody would bat an eye if McCarthy got fired, but that might be easier said than done give the sheer support McCarthy has from his players.

Dak Prescott went to bat for McCarthy addressing the media after the game, and now multiple anonymous Cowboys have defended McCarthy to NFL Network's Jane Slater. Some players feel they failed McCarthy, not the other way around. They appreciate the culture and his genuine love for the roster.

Slater listed out some "nuggets" of that culture that paint McCarthy as a true good guy and respected leader in the locker room.

Anonymous Cowboys players defend Mike McCarthy as coaching speculation mounts

This is outstanding insight from Slater.

Creating a personal relationship with players is one of McCarthy's great attributes. That's very pertinent as speculation mounts about McCarthy's future. While Jerry Jones is hungry for a Super Bowl, he also understands the value of bonding with players and the importance of players buying into a head coach.

Another player said of McCarthy that, "In order to be a great leader you have to be a great man yourself. Mike puts it all out there for everyone to be successful," per Slater.

Could these glowing reviews of McCarthy influence Jones' decision? It's impossible to say. To play devil's advocate, do some players speak for the entire locker room? Prescott is maybe the biggest leader on the team and he fell on the sword after Sunday's loss to take some of the heat off McCarthy.

"He’s been amazing," Prescott said of McCarthy. "I understand the business. In that case, it should be about me as well, honestly. I’ve had the season that I’ve had because of him. This team has had the success that they’ve had because of him. I understand it’s about winning the Super Bowl. That’s the standard of this league and damn sure the standard of this place, so I get it, but add me to the list in that case.”

That isn't nothing-burger, folks. Prescott is the face of the franchise. Though there's a discussion to be had about his future with the Cowboys after another playoff letdown, he's locked in as the starting quarterback for 2024.

It sounds like multiple players echo Dak's sentiment, which just makes an already-precious situation even more murky as we await Jones' verdict.

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