Thursday night was the culmination of six months of anticipation when the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off the NFL season.
While the Buccaneers outlasted the Cowboys in a 31-29 thriller, Head Coach Mike McCarthy had some head-scratchers that made me realize he may not be the answer as coach.
When you are playing a Tom Brady-led team, you have to go for the kill and not play it safe.
In the middle of the third quarter, trailing 21-16 at the Buccaneer three-yard line, he chose to kick a field goal.
I understand quarterback Dak Prescott is in his first game back and had been nursing a shoulder injury, but he is perfect for running the option or quarterback draw to score the touchdown.
Toward the end of the half, he also called to kick a 60-yard field goal at the Tampa Bay 42-yard line. Hindsight is 20/20, but if the Buccaneers drive 20 yards on one good play, now they are in field goal range.
While it’s just one week and it’s easy to Monday Morning Quarterback, McCarthy hasn’t done anything to prove to me he is the right coach for the Cowboys.
Even when he had Prescott last season, he went 2-3 with the only wins being against losing teams in Atlanta and New York Giants.
In his defense, he was installing a new system with no preseason and the Prescott-led offense was putting up a lot of points.
But when the Cowboys were 2-4, an anonymous player criticized the coaching staff for lack of preparation. For a coach who receives a lot of credit for winning the Super Bowl when he was in Green Bay, that’s a scathing comment.
The quarterback in that Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers, has been reported to have complained about McCarthy calling the wrong play and personnel.
Now to be fair, Rodgers apparently doesn’t like anybody (if this offseason was any indication). But where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
It would not surprise me if at some point this season, if the Cowboys have a losing record, to find out Mike McCarthy is replaced by Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore (who is adored by Owner Jerry Jones).
John Lee is the editor of The Pampa News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter @jcl1987.