There are myriad compelling storylines to watch on Super Wild Card Weekend. The Dallas Cowboys got a favorable draw and will play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, meaning head coach Mike McCarthy will face his former team.
This will surely be an emotional game for McCarthy. Not as emotional if it was being played at Lambeau Field and if Aaron Rodgers was quarterbacking the Packers, but McCarthy enjoyed tremendous success in Green Bay.
McCarthy led the Packers to a Super Bowl in 2010, as well as six NFC North titles, nine playoff appearances and 10 playoff wins in 13 seasons. He has a street named after him not far away from the iconic Lambeau Field. Though he didn't leave on great terms, Packers fans are nothing but appreciative of McCarthy.
So, how does McCarthy feel about having to eliminate his former team? Unbothered, if you can believe it. He's not buying into the drama.
Cowboys' Mike McCarthy had the perfect reaction about facing the Packers in playoffs
"They've had a good year. I haven't watched them a whole lot. The drama of it, I'm sure you guys will love. I will not participate this year," McCarthy said after Sunday's win. "It's playoff time. It doesn't matter who we play, to be honest with you."
That's a perfect answer from McCarthy. Playing the Packers makes for an interesting storyline, but it doesn't matter who's on the other side. The Cowboys prepare for every opponent the same. If (emphasis on if!) Dallas wins, McCarthy might admit to it meaning something more, but the head coach doesn't see a point in hyping up the drama publicly.
After all, whenever the Cowboys and Packers meet in the postseason, drama ensues.
The last time they played in the playoffs was in 2016 at AT&T Stadium. A then-rookie Dak Prescott went shot-for-shot with Aaron Rodgers, who ultimately delivered the game-winning pass on 3rd and 20 with less than 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
In 2014, officials ruled that Dez Bryant didn't catch a crucial 4th and 2 pass with two minutes left. It was clear to anyone watching that Bryant completed a full catching motion, and Dallas should've had first and goal from the one-yard line with a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown.
McCarthy will be hoping for a non-controversial ending this time around. Facing the Packers undoubtedly means something to the head coach, but he sent the right message by playing down the narrative. This game means so much more for the Cowboys and Green Bay than some trivial personal storyline.