When the Dallas Cowboys lost 19-12 in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs to San Francisco to fail to reach the conference championship game for a record 12th straight postseason, the big question was whether owner/GM Jerry Jones would make big changes on the coaching staff, led by head coach Mike McCarthy. Let’s see this analysis for your NFL Betting.
Dallas Cowboys Dump Several Coaches, But Not Mike McCarthy
After leading the Cowboys to back-to-back trips to the playoffs for first time since 2006-2007 and back-to-back 12-win seasons for the first time since 1992-1995 when they won three Super Bowl titles in four seasons, McCarthy probably deserves to continue as the team’s head coach. Jones has stated on a number of occasions that the team’s loss to the 49ers in the divisional playoffs will have no impact on McCarthy’s status as Cowboys coach.
“No, no, no,” Jones said when asked about the idea of dismissing McCarthy. “Not at all.”
Still, rumors persist that Jones may bring in former Saints coach and one-time Cowboys assistant Sean Payton or promote defensive coordinator Dan Quinn before the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals or Indianapolis Colts lure Quinn away to fill their head coaching opening.
The changes have begun in Dallas but they might hint that McCarthy is safe for one more year. Gone are senior defensive assistant George Edwards, running backs coach Skip Peete, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett (yes that Leon Lett of infamy), and assistant head coach Rob Davis. The contracts had expired for all but four members of the coaching staff. But it’s still a firing, as a practical matter, to not offer them new contracts.
One would think that McCarthy would be the first one fired if a change was coming. Moving on from Skip Peete does not bode well for the future of running back Ezekiel Elliott. The former Pro Bowler got a six-year extension worth $90 million in 2019 and is entering the first year of the deal where he doesn’t have any guarantees tied to his salary. He’s due $10.9 million in 2023 but is open to taking a pay cut to remain with Dallas. There’s no way the Cowboys are paying him $10.9 million in 2023.
Elliott was one of the best tailbacks in the NFL at the time of his extension but that’s no longer the case. Elliott authored the worst season of his seven-year career in 2022. In 15 games, he generated 231 attempts for 876 yards with 3.8 yards per carry, all career-lows. He also had a career-worst 17 catches for 92 yards. The only thing Elliott proved decent at this season was scoring short-yardage touchdowns, netting 12 scores.
He was grossly outperformed by Tony Pollard, whom many fans want to become the new lead back. Pollard’s rookie contract is set to expire on March 15 and if the team plans to franchise tag him, it must do so by March 7.
As a pre-June 1 cut of Elliott, the Cowboys would save $4.86 million against the cap, while incurring $11.86 million in dead money. Designating Elliott as a post-June 1 cut would save $10.9 million against the cap to go with just a $5.82 million dead cap charge.
While the NFL won’t release the full 2023 schedule until likely early May, the Cowboys’ opponents are known. Of course, they play the usual six total games in side the NFC East. Dallas finished its NFC East schedule 4-2 in 2022, with road losses to the Eagles and Commanders, sweeping at home and the New York Giants. Dallas averaged 23.2 points per game against the NFC East, well off its 27.5-point overall average.
Because the Cowboys finished second in the division, they will play the second-place teams in the NFC South, NFC North and AFC West: at Carolina, Detroit at home and then at the LA Chargers. There are also four games against the NFC West and four games against the AFC East, which includes trips to Buffalo and Miami for the first time since 2015. The Cowboys will play nine on the road and eight at home.
Cowboys 2023 Home Opponents
- NY Giants
- LA Rams
- New England
- NY Jets
Cowboys 2023 Away Opponents
- NY Giants
- San Francisco
- LA Chargers
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