Mike McCarthy had been an NFL head coach for a long time before this season, but his first year in Dallas has still produced new challenges.
Most notably, COVID-19 wrecked offseason programs league-wide. Every team was affected, not just the Cowboys, but it hurt Dallas and other teams with first-year head coaches more acutely.
On Wednesday, McCarthy admitted that not having the typical time in the spring and summer to acclimate himself to his team–and vice versa–is the biggest thing he’s had to overcome.
“It’s just being in tune with who your team really is at this point,” McCarthy said. “It’s a process that you go through every year with your football team, but you usually start that process in April.”
Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy on biggest challenge of being a first-year coach in 2020: “It’s just being in tune with who your team really is at this point. It’s a process that you go through every year with your football team, but you usually start that process in April.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 30, 2020
Through three games, Dallas is 1-2 and struggling defensively. For McCarthy’s sake, perhaps the truncated offseason is to blame for the Cowboys’ secondary being so porous.
If it’s not, and that’s just how bad the group will be all season, it will be a long year. Dallas might still make the playoffs–the NFC East is horrendous–but they won’t be able to make serious noise if their defense is this shaky.