The Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 through the first month of the season. This is what we all expected after America's Team posted a 12-win season in 2021. It is not at all what we all expected after seeing how the team looked in a terrible Week 1 loss that ended with Dak Prescott getting hurt with the expectation that he'd miss at least a month's worth of games.
The Cowboys have kept the ship steady against all odds. Cooper Rush has filled in admirably for Prescott and the defense has stepped up when needed. Dallas has been aided by a fairly weak schedule but with the possibility of Prescott coming back sometime in October that does not matter one iota. Wins are wins, especially when the team is just trying to run out the clock in anticipation of their franchise QB's return to the lineup.
Mike Greenberg took stock of the whole situation on Get Up today and credited one man for making sure the Cowboys' season wasn't lost before it got started: Mike McCarthy. Greenberg went further and said he's the leader in the clubhouse for Coach of the Year.
How far we've come, huh? McCarthy was blasted all offseason by pundits and fans alike after the Cowboys' season ended with a dumb playcall. More time was spent wondering when Sean Payton would replace McCarthy than wondering if McCarthy could take the team to the next step. Many Cowboys fans were even rooting for McCarthy to fail so Payton could take over, so convinced they were of McCarthy's quality as a coach.
Yet Greenberg isn't wrong. It's a team effort to keep winning after losing the starting signal-caller in Week 1, to be fair. Kellen Moore has been excellent in gameplanning with Rush instead of Prescott. Dan Quinn has staved off the regression everyone assumed was inevitable on the defensive side of the ball. But McCarthy deserves a good amount of the credit for acting as the steady hand throughout.
Anyone who had Mike McCarthy, Coach of the Year candidate on their 2022 NFL bingo card is either a seer or a liar. But from a neutral standpoint, it's nice to see him buck all expectations. Even if there's still a lot of season left.