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Coach Mike McCarthy: Countdown to the End


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To ask out loud, how do you not tie the game with a FG in a very competitive back and forth that at times saw your team behind 7-0, 13-7 before you took the lead right before the half. Then you trailed 20-14 for much of the way in the 2nd half, claw your way to within a FG, get an opp in the 4th to tie the game not knowing if you will get another chance to do that and your defense hasn't been lights out but on the whole has kept the Rams offense within reason much of the way. The Rams had to work long and hard to move the ball, they weren't quick striking on Dallas so a FG to tie at that point was the absolute best idea, you don't gamble that away like this is an XP/2Pt conversion argument. You take the FG try and hopefully make it, take the 3 points and you have a 20-20 ball game with about 10 Minutes to go int he 4th, you like your chances. 

But we'll hear from other members of the gallery now, what say you? I used to dislike McCarthy a lot and thought his Super Bowl win when the team was at one point I believe 6-7, 7-6, they went on a run that made him look like a genius for a couple years until he wasn't. I was dumbfounded by his decision and if I owned the team I would have a stern talking to him about wasting opportunities. This wasn't the DC FC and you want to make a statement, Rams are off a Super Bowl 2 seasons ago and I think they won 10 games last year and missed the playoffs, they're not a bad team. 

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With all due respect, Mike McCarthy going for the lead is something Dallas has been missing for awhile.  I blame Dak as much as I blame McCarthy.  He held the ball too long at times and doesn't seem like he fully trusts CeeDee Lamb, or he would have let that thing go quicker.  

In all fairness, we played a competitive game with a good football team; while we missed our starting RT, Will backer, starting TE, backup RT and our MLB - I mean... we are 1 game in and I am not so entitled of a fan that I am calling for the guys head.

I think the play at the end was dumb as hell.  I am trying to think of a time there was so much mutual contact and they threw a flag on the pass catcher, but - it's whatever.  Long season ahead and the Cowboys are only going to get better, unless they lose more players to injury.

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Not impressed, but it's early....I feel like the 'boys were out-coached, and outplayed yesterday.

Going for it on 4th and 3........I think you kick there.  Your D is playing better, and you tie it with a chip shot......the thing is, if you go for it and you complete a two yard pass to a rookie????  I mean thats inexcusable......with our offensive weapons and 3 yards to go, how do you not at least go for a completion beyond the sticks?  Lamb has to know where the first down is there.....but again, he's a rookie, maybe you go to someone else there, I dunno.

I don't like our play calling one game in.....seems like the same unimaginative game plan.

I will give a lot of credit to McVay and his staff.......also the Rams players.  They looked pretty solid last night......and Aaron Donald....that dude is just an amazing athlete.

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5 minutes ago, Manster said:

Not impressed, but it's early....I feel like the 'boys were out-coached, and outplayed yesterday.

Going for it on 4th and 3........I think you kick there.  Your D is playing better, and you tie it with a chip shot......the thing is, if you go for it and you complete a two yard pass to a rookie????  I mean thats inexcusable......with our offensive weapons and 3 yards to go, how do you not at least go for a completion beyond the sticks?  Lamb has to know where the first down is there.....but again, he's a rookie, maybe you go to someone else there, I dunno.

I don't like our play calling one game in.....seems like the same unimaginative game plan.

I will give a lot of credit to McVay and his staff.......also the Rams players.  They looked pretty solid last night......and Aaron Donald....that dude is just an amazing athlete.

Exactly!!!

How can you not get beyond the FD marker on a 4th and 3 and you're passing? The NFL for too long has relied on WRs catching underneath and then getting the FD, a simple 5 and out pattern is almost non existent in the playbook these days. 

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33 minutes ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

With all due respect, Mike McCarthy going for the lead is something Dallas has been missing for awhile.  I blame Dak as much as I blame McCarthy.  He held the ball too long at times and doesn't seem like he fully trusts CeeDee Lamb, or he would have let that thing go quicker.  

In all fairness, we played a competitive game with a good football team; while we missed our starting RT, Will backer, starting TE, backup RT and our MLB - I mean... we are 1 game in and I am not so entitled of a fan that I am calling for the guys head.

I think the play at the end was dumb as hell.  I am trying to think of a time there was so much mutual contact and they threw a flag on the pass catcher, but - it's whatever.  Long season ahead and the Cowboys are only going to get better, unless they lose more players to injury.

Dak is a good QB, not a elite QB.

Dak has already hit his ceiling and this is what he is.  Can the Cowboys win with him?  Maybe if the defense holds up.  If they don`t start scoring we might see the Red Rocket who might thrive in that offense.

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1 hour ago, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

Literally none of you said any of this #### two days ago. 
 

I’m not even gonna read any of it I can’t take any of you seriously.

I’m pretty sure there were a lot of people who scoffed at the Cowboys when they first hired him. He’s not a good coach.

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Many will argue that he did the right thing going for it there. I wouldn’t - but I’m a little more conservative in that regard.

i also recognized that DAL D was having a tough time topping LAR O, so at that point I thought better to take the 3 & tie the game, see if you can make a stop, and if you can’t, you have plenty of clock to try to score.

But I understand why some might want MM to be more aggressive there. 

now, what I can’t understand is why, if you are going to go for it, you’d make a rookie WR the target, much in the same way I don’t understand why they targeted Schultz so many times after Jarwin left as though the two were equal. Those decisions are recipes for failure compared to making Gallup, Elliott or Amari Cooper the focal point of the offense.

Several stalled drives resulted from that decision making.  It wasn’t just passing up the FG that cost them this game. It was getting away from their star players. I don’t understand why they chose to do that. Was their game plan so written in stone that they couldn’t shift away from the TE even knowing they had a less capable one on the field? Were they forcing it to Lamb to prove a point about how smart they were to draft him?  

If I’m the OC I want one of my top 3 weapons as the focal point of critical plays. Dallas opted to make the 4th and 5th options the focal point and it cost them several opportunities. 

The 4th & 4 wasn’t the reason they lost. It may have been a reason, which is debatable, but it wasn’t THE reason. 

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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the thing is, if you go for it and you complete a two yard pass to a rookie????  I mean thats inexcusable......with our offensive weapons and 3 yards to go, how do you not at least go for a completion beyond the sticks? 

I replied before reading your post - I said almost the exact same thing. Agree 100%.

I get the decision even if it’s not one that I would make.   But if you’re making that decision, how do you call THAT play? 

Hell, Elliott was averaging 4.4 - if you’re not gonna throw to the sticks, call a draw and let EE move the chains or throw a screen to get him in space. 

But if you are throwing to the sticks, AC & Gallup are much more reliable targets. 

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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2 hours ago, Ministry of Pain said:

To ask out loud, how do you not tie the game with a FG in a very competitive back and forth that at times saw your team behind 7-0, 13-7 before you took the lead right before the half. Then you trailed 20-14 for much of the way in the 2nd half, claw your way to within a FG, get an opp in the 4th to tie the game not knowing if you will get another chance to do that and your defense hasn't been lights out but on the whole has kept the Rams offense within reason much of the way. The Rams had to work long and hard to move the ball, they weren't quick striking on Dallas so a FG to tie at that point was the absolute best idea, you don't gamble that away like this is an XP/2Pt conversion argument. You take the FG try and hopefully make it, take the 3 points and you have a 20-20 ball game with about 10 Minutes to go int he 4th, you like your chances. 

But we'll hear from other members of the gallery now, what say you? I used to dislike McCarthy a lot and thought his Super Bowl win when the team was at one point I believe 6-7, 7-6, they went on a run that made him look like a genius for a couple years until he wasn't. I was dumbfounded by his decision and if I owned the team I would have a stern talking to him about wasting opportunities. This wasn't the DC FC and you want to make a statement, Rams are off a Super Bowl 2 seasons ago and I think they won 10 games last year and missed the playoffs, they're not a bad team. 

Based on what I know about McCarthy, I would say none of these decisions were made yesterday.  He gameplanned these situations over the past weeks and months, and this is the way the coach, his staff and the owner want to approach these situations. Therefore, regarding your hypothetical, "and if I owned the team I would ..." - the real question is what the real owner's expectations are.  My guess is the owner is disappointed with the result, but is likely not complaining about the aggressive approach to play to win the game.

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Hard to fault someone for being a little too aggressive considering teams have historically been too conservative. An argument can be made either to kick or go there. Obviously the play didn't execute to pick it up. Will be interesting to see other close decisions and if MM stays aggressive, which I think he should lean that way with the talented offense they have.

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5 minutes ago, IHEARTFF said:

Hard to fault someone for being a little too aggressive considering teams have historically been too conservative. An argument can be made either to kick or go there. Obviously the play didn't execute to pick it up. Will be interesting to see other close decisions and if MM stays aggressive, which I think he should lean that way with the talented offense they have.

This is fair. 

What play would you have called there? 

i think that’s the more interesting question. 

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I had no problem with it.  It would be 50/50 to go for it there for me.  I would guess the analytics say going for it is the right move.

No problem with the play call either.  Do people not understand how football plays work?  Everyone runs a route.  Not just one guy.  Zeke was the first read on the play.  He was covered, so Dak moved on and found Lamb.  It was a good tackle.  Lamb wasn't running his route at the sticks because it was a pick play and he had to get underneath the pick, and the location of the pick is determined by how the coverage is playing it.

It was a fine play.  It works all the time.  People never pay attention to the 6000 crossing routes that get caught short of the sticks and easily turned upfield for a 1st down, but then the one time the defender makes a really nice play and stops them it's "omg why would anyone ever call a play where they're not 10 yards beyond the 1st down marker?!?".

It's not like Cooper and Gallup didn't run a route.  Dak just picked out Lamb because he looked open.  And he did.  It was a good defensive play to navigate around all that traffic and get there for the tackle.  It happens.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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41 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Many will argue that he did the right thing going for it there. I wouldn’t - but I’m a little more conservative in that regard.

i also recognized that DAL D was having a tough time topping LAR O, so at that point I thought better to take the 3 & tie the game, see if you can make a stop, and if you can’t, you have plenty of clock to try to score.

But I understand why some might want MM to be more aggressive there. 

now, what I can’t understand is why, if you are going to go for it, you’d make a rookie WR the target, much in the same way I don’t understand why they targeted Schultz so many times after Jarwin left as though the two were equal. Those decisions are recipes for failure compared to making Gallup, Elliott or Amari Cooper the focal point of the offense.

Several stalled drives resulted from that decision making.  It wasn’t just passing up the FG that cost them this game. It was getting away from their star players. I don’t understand why they chose to do that. Was their game plan so written in stone that they couldn’t shift away from the TE even knowing they had a less capable one on the field? Were they forcing it to Lamb to prove a point about how smart they were to draft him?  

If I’m the OC I want one of my top 3 weapons as the focal point of critical plays. Dallas opted to make the 4th and 5th options the focal point and it cost them several opportunities. 

The 4th & 4 wasn’t the reason they lost. It may have been a reason, which is debatable, but it wasn’t THE reason. 

Cooper, Gallup and Lamb should be Option 1-2-3 however you want to order them but all 3 of them should garner 8-10 targets a game. I assume Dak will throw 30-40x a game some weeks, a high % should be thrown to the WRs, whichever one looks open let 'er RIP. Do that a few plays down the field and Zeke will have a lot of room to run wild as well. This should be a wide open fast paced offense built on blowing the other team out before they've had a chance to unpack their bags. You can hand off to Zeke and the other guy at will in the 2nd half once you have the lead. If that's not the game plan I would like to hear what's a better alternative. No time to get cute, do what your team is positioned to do best. They can't cover all 3 of those WRs plus Zeke out of the back field, they can't. 

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34 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Many will argue that he did the right thing going for it there. I wouldn’t - but I’m a little more conservative in that regard.

The decision was borderline -- this chart is right at the cutoff between "kick" and "go for it", while this chartthis chart and this chart say you should go for it (but the latter chart is from an XFL website, so it might be incorporating the XFL's 3-point PAT into the equation).

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Just now, [scooter] said:

The decision was borderline -- this chart is right at the cutoff between "kick" and "go for it", while this chartthis chart and this chart say you should go for it (but the latter chart is from an XFL website, so it might be incorporating the XFL's 3-point PAT into the equation).

Interesting stuff - thank you. I felt it was too far yardage wise, and based on game flow to that point + time left. As mentioned above, Dallas wasn’t stopping the Rams well to that point, so why not tie it up & hope for the stop instead of going for it?

i also take into consideration that it’s still no lock for them to score there. So let’s say they go for it & they’re successful. Now they move the chains and get 3 more downs. If the Rams done allow a TD, now DAL ties it up with much less time on the clock, which seemingly flips the script to LAR for a game-winning drive with little to no time left. 

The only way going for it makes sense is if they score the TD there. Otherwise they seem to hurt themselves. Unless I’m missing something there. 

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21 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I had no problem with it.  It would be 50/50 to go for it there for me.  I would guess the analytics say going for it is the right move.

No problem with the play call either.  Do people not understand how football plays work?  Everyone runs a route.  Not just one guy.  Zeke was the first read on the play.  He was covered, so Dak moved on and found Lamb.  It was a good tackle.  Lamb wasn't running his route at the sticks because it was a pick play and he had to get underneath the pick, and the location of the pick is determined by how the coverage is playing it.

It was a fine play.  It works all the time.  People never pay attention to the 6000 crossing routes that get caught short of the sticks and easily turned upfield for a 1st down, but then the one time the defender makes a really nice play and stops them it's "omg why would anyone ever call a play where they're not 10 yards beyond the 1st down marker?!?".

It's not like Cooper and Gallup didn't run a route.  Dak just picked out Lamb because he looked open.  And he did.  It was a good defensive play to navigate around all that traffic and get there for the tackle.  It happens.

I see your point.  My point is why would being tackled short of the FD even be a possible outcome unless you decide to run with Zeke....it's 3 ####### yards!  Run a play where your receivers are deeper than 3 yards!  I'd rather see an incomplete pass beyond the marker than a completion short of the line to gain.

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20 minutes ago, Manster said:

I see your point.  My point is why would being tackled short of the FD even be a possible outcome unless you decide to run with Zeke....it's 3 ####### yards!  Run a play where your receivers are deeper than 3 yards!  I'd rather see an incomplete pass beyond the marker than a completion short of the line to gain.

Isn't this 6 of 1 half a dozen of the other?  We are focusing too heavily on the outcome versus the play itself.  Did you want to run go routes for everyone on the field to get them past the sticks?  CeeDee was clearly a checkdown and the other guys were probably covered and Dak felt Lamb could get to the first down (3 yards) before the defender could make a play.  The defender made that play.  I don't think the playcall was poor.  The outcome just sucked.  

 

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37 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Interesting stuff - thank you. I felt it was too far yardage wise, and based on game flow to that point + time left. As mentioned above, Dallas wasn’t stopping the Rams well to that point, so why not tie it up & hope for the stop instead of going for it?

i also take into consideration that it’s still no lock for them to score there. So let’s say they go for it & they’re successful. Now they move the chains and get 3 more downs. If the Rams done allow a TD, now DAL ties it up with much less time on the clock, which seemingly flips the script to LAR for a game-winning drive with little to no time left. 

The only way going for it makes sense is if they score the TD there. Otherwise they seem to hurt themselves. Unless I’m missing something there. 

And to what you're saying, Dallas makes it 20-20, Rams feel urgency and instead of nursing a 3-pt lead they try and march it down. Maybe they kick a FG, maybe they score a TD, either of those and you at least give your offense a chance. Or perhaps Goff makes a big mistake trying to push it and you get the ball back with a chance to kick a FG to potentially win, you only have to maybe get it down inside the 30-35 yd line. Zerlein has a big leg last I checked and he was up against his old team, let him try and stick it to them. 

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I thought it was a horrible decision. 

Fans saying we need horrible decisions after the last regime is also funny to me.   A horrible decision is a horrible decision. 

 

They deserved to lose that game. I think the refs bailed out mccarthy from criticism with their horrible OPI cal.  It seems to have overshadowed mccarthy being an idiot.

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1 hour ago, [scooter] said:

The decision was borderline -- this chart is right at the cutoff between "kick" and "go for it", while this chartthis chart and this chart say you should go for it (but the latter chart is from an XFL website, so it might be incorporating the XFL's 3-point PAT into the equation).

It's interesting that these charts do not take the score and time left into account.  This is a different decision in the 4th quarter than in the 1st quarter, and it's a different decision down by 3 vs tied or leading.

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48 minutes ago, The Finist said:

I thought it was a horrible decision. 

Fans saying we need horrible decisions after the last regime is also funny to me.   A horrible decision is a horrible decision. 

 

They deserved to lose that game. I think the refs bailed out mccarthy from criticism with their horrible OPI cal.  It seems to have overshadowed mccarthy being an idiot.

Who's saying, "We need horrible decisions?" - that doesn't make any sense.  The Dallas defense looked like dog ####.  Why would you kick a FG for the tie, to have an urgent offense move the ball down field and score anyway?  "We play to win the game"... 

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1 hour ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

Isn't this 6 of 1 half a dozen of the other?  We are focusing too heavily on the outcome versus the play itself.  Did you want to run go routes for everyone on the field to get them past the sticks?  CeeDee was clearly a checkdown and the other guys were probably covered and Dak felt Lamb could get to the first down (3 yards) before the defender could make a play.  The defender made that play.  I don't think the playcall was poor.  The outcome just sucked.  

 

In a close game where ur defense is finally getting some stops, and you have a chance to tie the game, on a chip shot FG?

I'm sure McCarthy used statistical analysis, cuz I guess he's big into that......doesn't he have like a team a statistics guys or something?  Well, that play helps move the statisical needle to the side of kick the FG

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13 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

It's interesting that these charts do not take the score and time left into account.  This is a different decision in the 4th quarter than in the 1st quarter, and it's a different decision down by 3 vs tied or leading.

Exactly - and with ~10 mins on the clock, that’s seemingly in the Cowboys favor. They tie it with a FG, Rams get a possession, Dallas has a shot to stop them or if they score time to run a full drive. 

Going for it means killing clock, maybe getting 6 and maybe getting 3. IMO, as I mentioned above, getting 3 after another series would put the cowboys at a disadvantage end-game-wise. Now let’s say they tie it up with 6 mins on the clock. 

That favors LAR for a game-winning drive, forcing Dallas to use their TOs and maybe get the ball back with a minute or 2 left. 

That’s a much higher pressure outcome comparatively. 

At that point in the game, given the factors, I still think kicking the FG is the right call. 

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11 minutes ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

Who's saying, "We need horrible decisions?" - that doesn't make any sense.  The Dallas defense looked like dog ####.  Why would you kick a FG for the tie, to have an urgent offense move the ball down field and score anyway?  "We play to win the game"... 

Because with ~10 mins left, Dallas would then get the ball back with enough time for a drive of their own. 

Paying attention to how much time is left and scheming out the possible end-game scenarios to account for that is also playing to win the game. 

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7 minutes ago, Manster said:

In a close game where ur defense is finally getting some stops, and you have a chance to tie the game, on a chip shot FG?

I'm sure McCarthy used statistical analysis, cuz I guess he's big into that......doesn't he have like a team a statistics guys or something?  Well, that play helps move the statisical needle to the side of kick the FG

I think the people criticizing the play didn't see the play for what it was.  Jordan Fuller was probably 15 yards away from his defender at one point and Dak waited too long to throw the ball.  You can't put this on McCarthy.  He ran a play that should have been successful, but Dak held on to the ball too long.  I'm okay with the play call... most fans should be.  If you have a timeline of the moment our defense was doing well and finally getting stops, I would love to check them out.  I was starting to think our defense was terrible. 

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5 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Because with ~10 mins left, Dallas would then get the ball back with enough time for a drive of their own. 

Paying attention to how much time is left and scheming out the possible end-game scenarios to account for that is also playing to win the game. 

So, McCarthy didn't have any situational awareness when he had a wide open CeeDee Lamb and Dak held the ball too long?  That defender was picked in the center part of the field and had to run around 3 to 4 guys to come up and make that play - all made possible by Dak holding the ball too long.  6 > 3

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7 minutes ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

So, McCarthy didn't have any situational awareness when he had a wide open CeeDee Lamb and Dak held the ball too long?  That defender was picked in the center part of the field and had to run around 3 to 4 guys to come up and make that play - all made possible by Dak holding the ball too long.  6 > 3

Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. 

the decision to go for it was made prior to the outcome of the play being known. 

Whatever happened after that decision, whether Dak held on too long or not, whether they called the correct play or not, is irrelevant to the point that with 10 mins left, the game situation favored kicking the FG, and trying to stop the Rams. At worst the Rams score and DAL had plenty of time for a game-winning drive.

You’re trying to excuse the decision to go for it with the result. but it was the decision that lacked game awareness or was just, (IMO), a poor decision.

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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25 minutes ago, TVT 0 N S T A said:

Who's saying, "We need horrible decisions?" - that doesn't make any sense.  The Dallas defense looked like dog ####.  Why would you kick a FG for the tie, to have an urgent offense move the ball down field and score anyway?  "We play to win the game"... 

It was a horrible decision. Im very sorry.  Those who know, know.  Those who do not, no explanation will likely suffice.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. 

the decision to go for it was made prior to the outcome of the play being known. 

Whatever happened after that decision, whether Dak held on too long or not, whether they called the correct play or not, is irrelevant to the point that with 10 mins left, the game situation favored kicking the FG, and trying to stop the Rams. At worst the Rams score and DAL had plenty of time for a game-winning drive.

You’re trying to excuse the decision to go for it with the result. but it was the decision that lacked game awareness (or was just, (IMO), a poor decision.

It's 3 yards and you talk about defensive momentum but our offense was rolling.  The fact that Dak did not execute doesn't make the decision poor either.  It's a 2 way street.  They had CeeDee with 10 yards of separation and 3 yards to gain.  Statistically, you would be an idiot not to call that play.  Glad he did it.  

At this point, you are making things up.  Because, had he made that first down - you would be guilty of the very thing you are accusing me of.  In fact, I am not making any direct relation to the outcome based on correlation.  Causation is the culprit.  Dak held the ball too long - had nothing to do with McCarthy's play call.  Dak just needs to play better.  McCarthy isn't going to protect Dak.  Dak is in a contract year and we need to see if he can make the right decisions on plays like that.  Ball is out 2 seconds earlier and it's a first down.

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7 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Regardless of how anyone feels about the game or the specific plays, it’s not a reason to fire McCarthy. That’s way premature. 

Bold - wasn't aware this was a witchhunt to fire a coach who just saw his first game.  :lmao:

Guess we will keep him around for another week... 

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McCarthy said when he was hired that he had been into deep studies on metrics and so the decision to go for it somewhat aligns with that. Interesting that both offenses were faIrly productive, but LA in particular did poorly in the red zone. Would have expected more explosive offensive output for the Cowboys, but EE remained their most productive player.

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Just now, Deamon said:

Never thought it was a good hire.  That being said, the call to go for it was fine.  And his leash will be 3 years I think.

Agreed with the bolded. 
 

Disagree with the call, but we all have our takes on that. Probably split 50-50 by the FF community. Eh, for 2020 it’s probably 65-35 to go for it. 

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Just now, Stephen Holloway said:

but EE remained their most productive player.

Interestingly, there was skepticism about whether this would be the case. In the topic I had about the 1.03 pick, a lot of folks seemed to believe they’d be getting away from using EE as the focal point. 

I am of course thrilled to see they did not do that. :wub: 

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