Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is playing a dangerous game ahead of Dallas’ first meeting with the Washington Football Team. He is giving his rival bulletin board material.
While praising Dallas for its efforts and growth this season, McCarthy effectively guaranteed during a Thursday news conference that his team would beat Washington in Week 14.
“We know what people think of us. We love that,” McCarthy told reporters. “We’re comfortable [with] who we are, where we are. But I’m excited about what’s in front of us because — we’re gonna win this game. I’m confident in that and the prep that’s going into it. But more importantly, we want to improve too, along the way. So I think it’s all part about what the challenge of December football gives you.”
RUSSELL WILSON TRADE RUMORS: Seattle QB’s three preferred landing spots
Guaranteeing a win in the NFL is always a risk. That “any given Sunday” mantra is a bit cliche, but this season, more than ever, we’ve seen it pan out on the big stage.
The risk McCarthy is taking here is magnified by two facts. First, Washington is on a four-game winning streak. The team is playing well and is one of the hottest teams in football right now. It won’t take kindly to the lacking recognition they are getting from McCarthy.
Second, Dallas is Washington’s arch-rival. They want nothing more than to beat the Cowboys, so they were already coming into this game with a high level of motivation. Granted, this is a two-way street — the Cowboys also really want to win — but Washington may play angry because of the perceived slight from McCarthy’s side. Ron Rivera hasn’t given Dallas the same fuel — at least not yet.
MORE: Why Mac Jones, Patriots snubbed Peyton Manning’s interview request
McCarthy was given the opportunity to walk back his guarantee. He didn’t.
“What am I supposed to say? I fully expect to win every game I’ve ever competed in,” McCarthy said.
We’ll soon see whether McCarthy’s confidence will be proven justified or whether, like Odysseus, hubris will be his downfall.
NFL PICKS WEEK 14: Against the spread | Straight up