It was a night of ups and downs for everyone, even the coaches. McCarthy, the head coach, showed why he was an early contender for Coach of the Year, and also why he could lose his job at the end of this season.
McCarthy’s decision-making still needs work. In the second quarter, as the Cowboys tried to shake things up, Rush found wide receiver CeeDee Lamb midway through third down. Lamb fought for the first down and appeared to get it in real time, but was tagged before the marker.
Instead of waiting to see a measurement or get a play review before deciding whether or not to go for it, McCarthy opted to get on the ball and go fast. It was a call he surely wanted back as the rushed fourth down appeal failed and the Eagles took over in Cowboys territory. A review of play from the third down showed that Lamb had surely gotten the first down and there was no need to go for fourth.
However, McCarthy’s side showed great resilience in the fight back as all seemed lost in the opening 25 minutes of the game. Down 20-0, few thought the game would be in jeopardy when the fourth quarter arrived with a backup QB playing so poorly.
Yet what the team did, Dallas showed firmness and determination as they responded with 17 unanswered points to close. The second-half adjustments were real and there was guts in McCarthy’s team.