The Dallas Cowboys had everything in front of them. A minimum of two home playoff games after surging to the No. 2 seed. Avoiding the 49ers until the NFC Championship Game. A favorable draw against a hot, but overachieving Packers team that fields the youngest roster in the NFL. Despite all of that, Mike McCarthy's team wet the bed to the highest extreme.
There's obviously a ton of blame to go around. Dan Quinn should be near the top of the list after his defense got absolutely worked against Jordan Love and a bunch of first- and second-year receivers. and Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb picked the wrong time to have their worst games of the season.
McCarthy has to top the list, though. The Cowboys unraveled after they fell down 14-0 early in the second quarter and McCarthy curled up into a shell as a play-caller at the first sight of adversity. Again.
We hate -- absolutely hate -- to call for someone to lose their job, but Sunday should be McCarthy's final game as Cowboys head coach. If Jerry Jones had any sense, he'd already have Bill Belichick on the phone discussing a contract.
Based on Jones' reaction after Dallas fell behind 20-0 in the first half, the owner has already turned his back on McCarthy. Dare we say he's already eyeing Belichick?
Cowboys' Jerry Jones already thinking about firing Mike McCarthy, hiring Bill Belichick?
Oh boy. Jones' postgame press conference might confirm what everyone's thinking about McCarthy's job. Either way, it's going to be must-watch television. It's normally hard to predict what Jones will say to the media, but we can guarantee it'll be more entertaining than the beatdown that just transpired at AT&T Stadium.
Again, we hate to say McCarthy should be fired. He's achieved incredible things that the Cowboys haven't experienced since the 1990s dynasty in terms of three-straight 12 win seasons and playoff appearances, as well as two NFC East titles in a three-year span. His Texas Coast offense also produced the best seasons of Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb's careers.
However, there's no defending getting beat this badly at home to such an inexperienced team. It's become clear the Cowboys have a ceiling with McCarthy running the operation. All three playoff exits were of the embarrassing variety and he once made it past Wild Card Weekend with a roster littered with All-Pros and Pro Bowlers.
Here's another look at Jones being disgusted after the lead grew to 41-16.
The Jones family have always showed McCarthy support -- albeit with the occasional cryptic message from Jerry Jones sprinkled in now and then -- but there's no way they aren't raging with anger after watching that.
There are bigger problems facing the organization than McCarthy, but a leadership change is needed after arguably the most embarrassing playoff loss in franchise history. It's like they were trying to be a disaster.
Belichick might not be everyone's cup of tea, but good luck thinking of anyone better to lead this current core. This franchise is in need of saving and Belichick's cape is bigger than any available head coach.