Mike McCarthy has had plenty of regular season success from his 16 seasons as an NFL head coach. But one thing that’s eluded him is postseason greatness.
After another frustrating loss to the San Francisco 49ers, on the heels of beating the Bucs, questions remain. The Pittsburgh native now has a combined record of 11-10 in the postseason from his time with the Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.
Mike McCarthy’s season-by-season playoff history
McCarthy made the tournament in nine of his 13 seasons as Packers head coach (69%). Eight of those playoff berths came in consecutive years. Despite all that success, McCarthy only won the Super Bowl once.
That came in the 2010 season when Green Bay beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at Cowboys Stadium.
McCarthy held a 10-8 postseason record with the Packers. Here’s how the rest of his playoff appearances unfolded:
- 2007: Lost in the NFC Championship
- 2009: Lost in the Wild Card Round
- 2010: Won the Super Bowl
- 2011: Lost in the Divisional Round
- 2012: Lost in the Divisional Round
- 2013: Lost in the Wild Card Round
- 2014: Lost in the NFC Championship
- 2015: Lost in the Divisional Round
- 2016: Lost in the NFC Championship
McCarthy was hired by the Cowboys in 2020 and has made the playoffs once in the past two seasons. Dallas fans surely haven’t forgotten about the team’s 23-17 Wild Card loss to the San Francisco 49ers last year.
The Cowboys went down 13-0 in the second quarter and were unable to mount a comeback. But the most infamous play of the game came with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Dallas trailing by seven.
The Cowboys were out of timeouts and nearing the redzone. To set up a shot at the endzone, Dak Prescott rushed for a first down but time expired before the ball could be spiked to stop the clock.
While that play is what Cowboys fans will always remember from the game, there were plenty of other factors that led to the loss. For starters, the Cowboys were penalized 14 times for 89 yards. Dak was also sacked five times, while Dallas didn’t register a single sack.
McCarthy’s unfair criticism
It’s no secret that McCarthy was on the hot seat before the season kicked off. When former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton announced he was interested in returning to football next year, fans immediately clamored for the Cowboys to acquire him if McCarthy accomplishes anything short of winning the Super Bowl.
Winning games in the NFL is tough, but McCarthy holds an all-time record of 155-96-2 (.617 win %). It’s hard to defend McCarthy’s lone Super Bowl win despite making the postseason 10 times.
But McCarthy has already posted two 12-win seasons in just three years with Dallas. The year he had less than 12 wins came in 2020 when Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5.
The last time the Cowboys won 12 games in back-to-back seasons was 1994-1995.