Mike McCarthy: No. 1 focus moving forward is on penalties

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys
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There was a lot of focus on the final play of Sunday’s Cowboys loss to the 49ers, but the Cowboys’ attempt to spike the ball and run one more play might not have been necessary if they’d been a little more disciplined throughout the game.

Dallas was penalized 14 times for 89 yards over the course of the 23-17 loss and their inability to avoid flags continued a theme that was in place all season. The Cowboys were the most penalized team in the entire league during the regular season and head coach Mike McCarthy said at a Wednesday press conference that changing that will be the top priority of the offseason.

“And our number one focus moving forward is the penalties,” McCarthy said, via 105.3 The Fan. “It’s way too many . . . you look at the pre-snap (penalties), there’s no excuse for it. That’s been a focus all year. You know, the thing I struggle with as a head coach doing this now for a number of years is, I have comparables over a 15-year period and this team here is clearly one of the better teams I’ve coached as far as their mental preparation and their mental execution. . . . Our mental grades don’t coincide with the penalties, because they usually go together. That’s something we’ll take a very hard look at.”

Outside observers might have a different view of the Cowboys’ overall mental execution that McCarthy expressed on Wednesday, but no one’s going to take issue with the team’s need to do less to hurt itself in the future.

41 responses to “Mike McCarthy: No. 1 focus moving forward is on penalties

  1. Either replacing Connor Williams or figuring out how to coach him up is a start. He is good for atleast 2 penalties a game.

  2. The lack of team discipline resulting in numerous stupid penalties is on you Mike time to look in the mirror.

  3. Maybe try to understand the rules? Some of the penalties were just bush league, not only the numerous pre-snap, but the DT getting called for holding (tackling really), the push in the back right in front of the play, etc. etc. Also, might want to know the minimum time to run a play and get lined up again, and who is supposed to place the ball in play.

  4. Many Penalties and dumb play calls, straight out of the Mike McCarthy playbook. Nothing new.

  5. Always a sad thing when the person leading has no idea which way is up. Mike, YOU are the problem. In game adjustments, preparation during the week, clock management, and the inability to find the path to winning the game regardless of how it’s going. The gap between him and say Payton, or BB, or Tomlin is so vast if I was a cowboys fan and NO actually said sure we’ll trade you coach for a 1, I’d do it. I don’t think DALLAS can win multiple playoff games in a row with him choosing the path through the minefield he’s just not that guy. IMO

  6. The Cowboys were clearly focused on penalties this season, didn’t they lead the league for the most penalties ?

  7. He should be moving forward on finding the best Center and Gaurd in the draft or free agency.

  8. Time management should be pretty high priority as well since you don’t appear to understand the concept.

  9. Maybe they should start really with the fellas who put the talent together? Man what a mess…

  10. Perhaps he should have focused on it in September when it was clear they were undisciplined.

  11. Finding a GM should be focus number one, the current one is bad at hiring coaches, and overpaid Dak and Zeke.

    It starts at the top, and thats Jerry Jones.

  12. How about getting a credible head coach? Maybe then the no 1 focus could be winning games rather than some nonsense about fundamentals.

  13. Dak just doesn’t have what it takes. He was scared at the start of the game and McCarthy let it slip today

  14. they led the league in penalties during the season and when the playoffs started, they said “hold my Beer”

  15. Hey Mike you work and plan all season, win your division.Get a home playoff game and that’s how you have your team prepared? Seems they were scared because they played like they were the inferior team! That’s on you coach!

  16. Going all-in on a reactionary, chaotic approach to head coaching as opposed to proactive, data driven, strategic thinking. Hoo Boy.

  17. You will never win with this coach. He held Rodgers back. They should have won multiple Super Bowls

  18. There are some things a coach can’t control. The personnel people need to eliminate the temptation of taking talented guys with red flags that everyone else scratched off their list. Just get solid guys that don’t lose focus at the most critical time, and kill the team with jaw dropping mental errors.

  19. Penalties were stupid since game one of the season. Now we’re going to focus on them after it costs us a playoff game?

    C’mon son…

  20. I chuckle a bit as I read the comments about the Cowboys and penalties. A quick examination of McCarthy’s teams in Green Bay showed a similar problem.
    I watched every game McCarthy coached in Green Bay. This is what you have:
    1)A coach that can put together a solid offense.
    2)A coach that can, occasionally, find a d-coordinator who will be good. Not always though.
    3)Lots of penalties, overcome by a top-shelf quarterback.
    4)Special teams that are less than desired.
    5) Poor clock management in crucial situations.

    Sound familiar?

  21. 12 win season down the drain for terrible game management. McCarthy is a horrible coach and the Cowboys STILL suck!

  22. Say what you will about McCarthy but in Green Bay, when he said something would be the offseason “focus,” that something generally got fixed.

    The problem with that, was that something else always seemed to suffer because of it.

    I’d almost be willing to bet that next year, penalties will be way down but something else will require “focus.”

    Toward the end, there seemed to always be something requiring “focus.”

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