Mike McCarthy: 'Nonsense' to Say Cowboys Should Now Have Super Bowl Expectations

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy walks the field during an NFL football training camp practice in Frisco, Texas, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.(AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy downplayed the importance of placing Super Bowl expectations on the team because that should be the goal every year.

McCarthy, who won Super Bowl XLV in 2011 while coaching the Green Bay Packers, told reporters Friday he's never backed off championship-level aspirations:Β 

"I think conversation like that frankly, respectfully, is nonsense. If you're not trying to win the Super Bowl, I don't know what you're even doing in this business.

"I think that's what every team starts their offseason with. The ones that don't want to talk about it, they're probably just trying to under-promise, overachieve. But I've always been very up front about it with every team I've ever coached: We're in this to win a championship. Make no bones about it."

McCarthy was hired in January after the Cowboys posted a disappointing 8-8 record in 2019 to miss the playoffs for the second time in three years.

His transition has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which moved all offseason team activities into a virtual format and led to the cancellation of the preseason. He didn't want to use the surrounding circumstances as an excuse, though.

"We're all in a pandemic. Every coach is coaching in this training camp environment," McCarthy said. "The players are doing a great job with the COVID challenge, and it's going to be a long, long year, and it's going to be a huge challenge to get that championship. That's the reality of it. But at the end of the day, we're on Install 6, so we've got a lot of work to do."

Outside expectations for the Cowboys are high. They are listed with +1300 odds (bet $100 to win $1,300) to win the Super Bowl, which ranks sixth behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (+400), Baltimore Ravens (+700), San Francisco 49ers (+750), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1100) and Seattle Seahawks (+1200), perΒ Caesars Palace.

Dallas led the NFL in total offense (431.5 yards per game) and rated ninth in total defense (327 yards allowed per game) last season, so its 8-8 record could be viewed as an aberration.

One area the Cowboys will definitely need to improve is their turnover differential, which was minus-one last year with just 17 takeaways in 16 games.

Otherwise, their star-studded roster, led by Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence, should feature enough talent not only to qualify for the postseason but to make a deep playoff run.

Dallas will kick off the championship chase Sept. 13 when they visit SoFi Stadium to take on the Los Angeles Rams.