McCarthy Cowboys 'Honeymoon' Is Officially Over

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - In addition to the natural excitement that comes with anything new, the public unrest over the Jason Garrett Era and was sure to create a bit of a “criticism bumper” for RedBall’s replacement.

But after one week and one loss?

“The (Mike McCarthy era) honeymoon is over.”

That’s not the view of an overly-harsh, overly-zealous Cowboys fan, but rather the even-keeled view of Mike McCarthy himself.

“We looked like a team that played its first game in some areas and in other areas I thought we did a lot of really good things,” new coach McCarthy said in review of Dallas 20-17 Week 1 loss at the Rams. “We’re closer than you may think we are, but at the end of the day our honeymoon is over. It’s time to win games.”

READ MORE: Rams Upend Cowboys, 20-17: 10 'Whitty' Observations

We’re not sure what “close” means, other than the final one-score margin at SoFi Stadium. What we do know is that the Cowboys’ knack for losing one-score games - in the last year spanning Garrett and McCarthy they are 1-7 in what the NBA would call “clutch time” - is virtually unparalleled.

And in at least that sense, the McCarthy Era mirrors the Garrett Era.

Of course, the Jones ownership family provided Garrett with a decade of rope, so panic after one game is silly. ... but so are excuses.

Reduced offseason program? No mandatory minicamp? No preseason games? A shrunken training camp? Injury issues?

These are the laments of losers.

READ MORE: 'The Biggest Losers': Where Are Cowboys In SI's Week 2 Power Rankings?

You’ll note that 32 NFL teams just played in Week 1 and that exactly 16 of them are subjects of stories about a lack of camp work and an excess of injuries.

The other 16 ... won.

McCarthy, now overseeing an 0-1 team here at The Star prepping for Sunday’s visit from 0-1 Atlanta, utilized some stat or something or other to illustrate, “That also points to the fact that our guys are fighting, scrapping ... So the energy and the attitude and all of those things was there.”

But a Super Bowl contender “trying hard” in its first-ever game under a new coach earns no praise here. There is never a “honeymoon period” in effort. And now - according to the coach himself - there is no longer a “honeymoon period” ... period.

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