There is a lot on the line for the Dallas Cowboys this weekend as they travel to Tampa Bay and play the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. Despite going 12-5 there is a general view around the league that Dallas underachieved relative to the talent on the roster, a view that is only encouraged by Jerry Jones constantly trumpeting the high expectations he has for his expensive team. The back half of the season especially was filled with "bad" wins in which the Cowboys emerged victorious but had key guys play poorly.
So there is legitimate reason to wonder if Dallas is really capable of beating the 8-9 Bucs on Monday, especially after the Cowboys' gigantic flop of a season finale against Washington. If America's Team goes one-and-done in the playoffs again, and to the worst playoff team in the field, people will be unhappy. Jerry Jones, in particular, will be unhappy. And it seems likely heads will roll.
The focus in the lead-up to the game, then, is Mike McCarthy, upon whom all blame will fall regardless of what happens. Skip Bayless has decided to get a head start and called McCarthy a fraudulent coach who is only relevant because of the success Aaron Rodgers brought him in Green Bay.
Bayless is echoing the sentiments of many anonymous Twitter users who spam the Cowboys' replies.
At this point we are probably overdoing it on McCarthy. Everybody knows he is a fine coach. He is not a great coach who will outscheme the guy across from him. He is not a terrible coach who will lose games en masse due to a lack of any sort of football sense. He has his flaws, notoriously with timeouts, but McCarthy is not a bad coach. He is perfectly fine.
You wouldn't be able to guess that just by looking at the discourse this week and you definitely won't be able to guess that this time next week, regardless of what happens.