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Dak candid on his play vs. Packers, McCarthy future


ARLINGTON, Texas — As the screen on the jumbotron went black following the game against the Green Bay Packers, as did the 2023 season for the Dallas Cowboys. In one of the more stunning losses you'll likely ever see, a division winner and No. 2 seed was bullied and boat raced by a No. 7 seed at their own house; and it has put Mike McCarthy's future in question.

Resilience has been shown by the Cowboys all season, following season-ending losses to impact and cornerstone players alike, but none of that matters now. The offseason has abruptly arrived, and the outlook for the next several months is murky at best.

"I think the biggest thing is, you know, we're disappointed," said McCarthy. "I got a whole team in the locker room that's hurting. I haven't thought past the outcome of this game."

Inevitably, he will have no choice but to, considering owner and general manager Jerry Jones had already scheduled to meet with him after this game, regardless of the outcome, to discuss the direction of the team.

And with Jones himself admitting he's "stunned" by not simply the loss itself, but the fashion in which it took place, everyone now awaits Jones' decision on his team's head coach — one who led the Cowboys to three consecutive 12-win seasons, two division titles and a 16-game home win streak.

That streak ended with a thud on Sunday, though. 

For his part, quarterback Dak Prescott offered high praise for McCarthy's time in Dallas. The two became more close over the past several months with the latter taking over play-calling duties, and it resulted in a historic season for CeeDee Lamb and an MVP candidacy for Prescott — along with a third Pro Bowl honor.

But, against the Packers, everything that could've gone wrong most certainly did, and that includes two interceptions by Prescott (one being a pick-six) on a night that was wildly unsettled on both sides of the ball.

So Prescott says if McCarthy's on the hot seat for what happened in the Wild Card game, so should the Cowboys' franchise quarterback, a full-on taking of accountability for his own play.

"He's been amazing," said Prescott of McCarthy. "I don't know how they can be [speculation about his future], but I understand the business. In that case, it should be about me as well. I've had the season that I've had because of him. This team has had the success that they've had because of him. 

"I understand it's about winning the Super Bowl. That's the standard of this league and damn sure the standard of this place. I get it but add me to the list in that case."

For the record, Prescott is expected to have contract talks with the Cowboys this offseason but, for now, he's at a loss for words in trying to describe what happened against the Packers.

"It's tough to give you that answer when I just went out there and we just did that," he said. "Unfortunately, that's what the offseason is for and it's a long one. Yeah, I wish I could give you that answer."

And in keeping with his tone of brutal, unabashed honesty, he gave his final assessment of how he thinks he did in the most important game of the season — shrugging off any and every regular season accolade entirely.

"I'm not a guy who lives in the past," he said. "Where my feet are and at this moment, yeah, I sucked tonight, that was it. I got it going a little bit late but none of that mattered at that point. Fall, that's all I really know how to do. 

"It's about winning and winning the playoffs and getting to the last game and winning that as well. Yeah, [it's] tough."

And, now, so are the list of decisions Jones and the Cowboys are faced with making.

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