The Dallas Cowboys are 9-3 and headed for their third straight playoff playoff berth. The last time they achieved that was when they made it six straight times in the early 1990s, when they rattled off three Super Bowls in a five-year span. That marked the last time Dallas posted double-digit wins in three consecutive seasons.
That's a testament to the job Mike McCarthy has done as head coach.
For whatever reason, though, McCarthy's credit and recognition pales in comparison to other successful coaches in the league. All the media wants to talk about is McCarthy's future and what might happen to his job status if the Cowboys fail to make it to the NFC Championship Game for the 28th year in a row.
Bill Belichick has been floated as a possible McCarthy successor, assuming he leaves the dumpster fire that he helped create in New England.
The latest buzz indicates the Cowboys would go in a different direction if McCarthy is canned following another premature playoff exit, however. Per Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda, Dallas would replace McCarthy with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Cowboys Rumors: Dan Quinn to take over as head coach if Mike McCarthy is fired?
Why would the Cowboys be in a rush to get rid of McCarthy? A first-round exit would admittedly be indefensible -- especially if Dallas is matched up with the winner of the mediocre NFC South -- but take a step away from the ledge and appreciate what McCarthy has done over his four seasons as head coach.
The Cowboys have won 33 of their last 46 games under McCarthy. Like making the playoffs three straight times, that hasn't been done since the mid 90s. The numbers show that McCarthy has brought more consistency to Dallas since the most dominant run in team history some 25 years ago.
He's gotten the Cowboys to a level where fans expect to make the playoffs every year. Under Jason Garrett, Dallas made the playoffs three times in 10 seasons. They finished .500 (8-8) four times and won more than 10 games just twice.
When you compare coaching resumes, Garrett's looks eerily similar to Quinn's. The defensive coordinator had a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, but owns a 43-42 career record (Garrett was 85-67) and had just two winning seasons in five-plus seasons in Atlanta before he was fired.
While Quinn is a great motivator, some coordinators are better served as coordinators; not head coaches. His Cowboys defense has this reputation of being elite, but they beat up on lesser teams. They didn't have any answers against the 49ers, Eagles and Seahawks this season.
McCarthy's offense has become the strength of this team. Barring a first-round exit, the Cowboys would be crazy to run McCarthy out of town if Quinn is their actual ace in the hole.