‘Modest’: Mike McCarthy stands by OT gamble, but Cowboys’ loss to Packers sends stark message about post-season viability

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GREEN BAY, WI – Micah Parsons has described his teammates’ performance, or lack thereof, as “disgusting.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones referred to “frustration” six times in a span of 4 minutes and 2 seconds.

Midfielder Dak Prescott sat on the visitor’s locker chair with his head down and his eyes vacant.

Head coach Mike McCarthy – in his third year at the helm of the Cowboys, after returning home where he spent 13 years in the job – declined further details about nostalgia.

“I’m not trying to be rude,” McCarthy said after losing 31-28 overtime to the Green Bay Packers. “I am modest.”

The Cowboys failed in two important worlds on Sunday. They failed to secure a victory for McCarthy to help write over memories of a brutal dismissal in the middle of the 2018 season, and they failed to show the NFL that perhaps, just maybe, for the first time in more than two decades, it would suffice to be a complete and disciplined squad to threaten the postseason.

At 6-3 and third in the NFC East, the Cowboys still have a 95% chance of making the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight’s playoff prediction model. But Sunday’s loss has raised big questions about whether it is likely to advance.

It’s a bad thing,” said Parsons, the favorite for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. “You have to be able to finish matches in this league, especially against players like [Aaron] Rodgers. You should be able to finish.

“Finish, finish, finish – that’s what this game is about.”

Aaron Rodgers talks with former coach Mike McCarthy before kick-off Sunday between the Packers and Cowboys. McCarthy wasn’t in such a playful mood game after Dallas lost in overtime. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

unfinished business

The Cowboys were confident when they equalized before halftime and were confident as they jumped to a 14-point lead in the third quarter. Even when the packs sagged at that edge—and eventually tied the game to 2:33 to play in regulation—the Cowboys believed their balanced attack and dominant passing dash could withstand the Packers’ impulse.

In overtime, Tony Pollard turned a 7-yard pair off. Prescott and Sir Lamb were connected by a crossroad similar to the play which they failed to intercept Prescott’s second in the second quarter. Then the cowboy system veered.

Pollard’s 6-yard run in series was called back when rookie receiver Galen Tolbert lined up for offsides, violating the neutral zone. Cowboys RB3 Malik Davis’ impressive 16-yard stroke was negated by flagged left guard Conor McGovern. Prescott found a tight end for Dalton Schultz to narrow the second and 19 into third and 3. But then, the 200-yard attack on the ground attempted a throw, with Lamb grazing the ball with both hands but ultimately not securing the attacker. McCarthy indicated that the Cowboys are chasing it for fourth and third, but Prescott’s last attempt under heavy pressure was unsuccessful.

McCarthy hit his red-faced headset on the floor.

“I’m very disappointed by the end of the game, of course,” McCarthy said. “We need these tight games to get where you want to go. I thought we were in complete control, but in overtime you clearly know the penalties and stuff.”

McCarthy’s size and intensity escalated uncharacteristically with each of his next three words.

“very very, very Frustrated,” he said. “But you have to overcome these things.”

McCarthy reiterated his belief that they “needed to move on” in fourth, a decision he made in second after seeing the rickety, kick-packed road unfold.

“So our feeling was to keep playing,” he said. “We had good calls. I’m fine with that decision.”

Two runs and a 36-yard completion on the RPO Next, the Packers comfortably reached the field goal range.

Rodgers downplayed the victory over his former coach, checking the box results as he asserted, “I don’t think Mike was a good fit.” However, in establishing a dangerous connection to a small receiver and swooping the game five, Rodgers said there were “a lot of demons cast out today”. Not only did he silence internal doubts after rebounding from a single touchdown, triple interception loss against the Detroit Lions to a triple, no interception win against the Cowboys.

“The little voice in your head trying to annoy you from that confident perch that you are?” Rodgers said. “She brought that sound back to hell and had a good performance today.”

double weekly

Rodgers made effective, well-timed throws, including Christian Watson’s career first touchdown in the second round – second and third. He burned the Cowboys with hits from 58 and 39 yards. In overtime too, Rodgers’ implementation of the RPO to find receiver Allen Lazard for a big profit was brilliant.

But the most important issue in the Cowboys’ defense wasn’t Rodgers’ completion of 14 or 224 yards. They failed to withstand the pack rally, in large part, because they allowed the tandem of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon to destroy them for more than 200 rushing yards and nearly 5.5 yards per carry.

In the fourth quarter, that penalty hit an 8.2 yard pop limit. The Cowboys failed to force the third and long positions, as the Packers neutralized the pass rush that carried the unit. The Dallas defense was already a weak link entering the game, and the team knows they’re exposed ahead of a three-week span that looms as Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings, Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts. .

“No one will just let us rush, no one will let us be who we are,” Parsons said. “That is why we have to put out this fire. Until we get this fire out, we will continue to see it.”

The Chicago Bears also rushed for 200 yards on the Cowboys’ last outing.

“If people want to keep doing their own thing, we’re going to deal with that all year long and we’re never going to be the team we want to be,” Parsons said. “We have to turn this off. We have to be responsible. We have to stay on our loopholes and stop the escape. Then once we stop it, we can get back to where we are.”

“But until we do that, it’s going to be a long year.”

Or, in some ways, maybe even shorter.

Because the Cowboys know that their inability to stuff the race will preclude any profound post-season success. Running into the regular season has lost meaning.

Aaron Jones had a lively celebration against the Cowboys on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.  Jones rushed for 138 yards on 24 buggies.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Aaron Jones had a lively celebration against the Cowboys on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Jones rushed for 138 yards on 24 buggies. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Dallas has rarely been goofy in recent years, but it’s been a regular low during the 26 seasons since the series made it to the Super Bowl or even the NFC Championship game. Dominant regular season wins against lower teams — think, the Bears’ 49-29 dismantling two weeks ago — instill facades of confidence that have been tested against top quarterbacks and in hostile road environments like last month’s visit to Philadelphia and a weekend visit to the Greens. bay.

The Packers have now beaten the Cowboys in nine of their past 10 games, including the playoffs. Dallas doesn’t have enough cushion to withstand foul offense interceptions and poor contact, and leaky yardage and ill-fitting runs haunt the defense.

In what seems like a Cowboys tradition against Rodgers, Dallas played hard but left very little room for error. It’s something “this team will have to overcome,” Jerry Jones said.

“We wanted to get it for Mike, but more importantly, we wanted to put another brick to where we were going and we didn’t,” Prescott said. “We haven’t taken that step that we were talking about.”

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