Stunned Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn't address Mike McCarthy's future after wild-card loss

FILE - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks onto the field before an NFL football game against the New York Giants on Sunday, Sep. 10, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. Jim Trotter, a former NFL Media journalist, is accusing the NFL of refusing to address what he calls longstanding institutional discrimination and said his contract was not renewed because he repeatedly voiced concerns regarding equity and racial injustice. In making his allegations in a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed in federal court in New York City on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, Trotter also cited Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula as making racially insensitive comments. Trotter said the concerns he raised with league executives, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, regarding these comments and the lack of diversity among NFL Media employees fell on deaf ears. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones, File) (Rusty Jones, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Ashen-faced Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn't ready to discuss the future of coach Mike McCarthy, quarterback Dak Prescott or anything else after a stunning playoff loss to Green Bay.

“This is one of my (biggest) surprises since I've been involved in sport, period,” Jones said after a 48-32 home wild-card defeat to the Packers on Sunday. “To that degree, I know how disappointed everyone is.”

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The Cowboys (12-6) have three consecutive 12-win seasons and playoff trips in four years under McCarthy, hired after 12-plus seasons in Green Bay because of his penchant for getting the Packers deep in the playoffs.

Now Dallas is looking at 29 years since the franchise's last trip to the NFC championship game. It was the 1995 season, when the Cowboys won their fifth Super Bowl title.

The Cowboys surged to the NFC East title by overtaking freefalling Philadelphia, the defending division and conference champion, in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Suddenly, Dallas had a chance to host a divisional game after a wild-card victory for the first time since that 1995 season after finishing the regular season with a 16-game home winning streak.

Instead, there will be questions aplenty, along with reminders that McCarthy and Prescott are going into the final years of their contracts.

“I don’t know how they can be, but I understand the business,” Prescott said when asked about the loss creating speculation about his 60-year-old coach's future. “In that case, it should be about me as well.

“I’ve had the season that I’ve had because of him,” said Prescott, who threw two interceptions before three mostly empty touchdown passes as Dallas fell behind 48-16. “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 (darn) sure the standard of this place. I get it, but add me to the list, in that case.”

It's the second time in McCarthy's three playoff seasons with Dallas that the Cowboys have lost their playoff opener at home. San Francisco beat them in the wild-card round two years ago.

Last year, Prescott had one of the best games of his career in a victory over Tampa Bay that ended up being Tom Brady's final game before losing again to the Niners, this time on the road, in the divisional round.

Dallas is the first team to win at least 12 games in three consecutive playoff seasons and not advance to a conference title game once.

McCarthy took the Packers that far four times in nine postseason trips, reaching the Super Bowl once and beating Pittsburgh at the home of the Cowboys to win the title during the 2010 season. He was fired in the middle of a second consecutive losing season in 2018.

“I think the biggest thing is we’re disappointed,” McCarthy said when asked whether he thinks he will remain as coach. “I got a whole team in the locker room that’s hurting. I haven’t thought past the outcome of this game.”

Prescott's playoff record dropped to 2-5 after he led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes during the regular season and was in the MVP conversation.

“We had it all lined up three hours ago,” Prescott said. “This is the last place that anybody in this organization, especially in our locker room, would have thought that we were going to be. That’s why I keep using the words ‘shocked’ or ‘stunned.’”

Dallas is the first No. 2 seed to lose to the last team in at No. 7 since the playoffs expanded to the 14-team format in 2020.

Jones said there was “nothing set” on when he would meet with McCarthy.

“What I had planned to do was be with him going over how we played and getting ready for the coming week,” Jones said. “That’s what was on the agenda. Tomorrow, my agenda will be to dismiss the team.”

There will be plenty of chatter about whether Jones will dismiss the coach.



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