McCarthy ‘regrets’ approaching Packers in 2022

McCarthy ‘regrets’ approaching Packers in 2022

“I’m sure you guys are going to love it, but I’m not in it this year,” he said after defeating the Leaders to clinch the NFC East title and the No. 2 seed. “It’s time for the playoffs. It doesn’t matter who we play, to be honest with you. We need to play our best football.

“It doesn’t matter who we play or where we play them. This has to be our mentality.”

That’s fair, but the media and fans can talk about it, so let’s do it.

It’s truly the perfection of coincidence, or karma, depending on your belief system, but regardless of the actual driver here, you won’t see or hear McCarthy in action; This is due to the result of the previous confrontation in 2022, when Aaron Rodgers achieved the victory at Lambeau Field.

The Cowboys built a commanding 28-14 lead in the third quarter before losing 31-28 in overtime.

McCarthy was physically upset after that fight, and not only was it because of how the Cowboys lost, but it was also very clear who they lost to – torpedoing McCarthy’s homecoming. He now wonders whether his pre-match approach in that match hurt his players although at the moment he believes the opposite may be true.

“Last year, I thought it was important for me to talk about Green Bay at the beginning of the week with the team. I regretted that,” McCarthy admitted Monday. “This doesn’t even need to hit our power base, but you live and you learn. This game is about our commitment. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

“… This is my place. There’s no time for that. … It’s not going to help us win. And if it doesn’t help us win the game, I’m not interested.”

However, Dak Prescott and the locker room have not forgotten what happened at Wisconsin on that fateful November night.

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback agrees with McCarthy that there is much more to this game than his head coach’s rematch with the Packers, or even his own team, considering it was McCarthy’s Packers that closed the door on the season. The record-setting rookie for Prescott in 2016 – walking into AT&T Stadium with Aaron Rodgers for a 34-31 loss in the NFC divisional round (extra information in case you need another mind-boggling layer to consider).

But given how things ended between the two teams in 2022, Prescott is also not playing coy.

“We are excited for him in this match,” he said. “As much as everyone knows what this game means to the Dallas Cowboys, it also has something a little special. It’s important that we get it for our entity, but how we do it will be a punctuation mark for him.”

Jayron Kearse echoes Prescott’s sentiments, revealing that the defensive side of the equation also spells some redemption for McCarthy.

“I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot of emotions with Coach McCarthy, and rightfully so, given that he was there, he won a Super Bowl there and had some great years there,” the veteran safety said. “So, to play with them in this wild card game, I know it’s going to be a big deal for him.”

But what the Cowboys can’t allow, from McCarthy’s perspective, is allowing extra emotions that cause them to play outside themselves and lack execution. If that happens, no goal will be achieved in Dallas, and it will likely be a repeat of last year’s game anyway. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results.

Kearse acknowledges the prevailing headline, but what’s more important is winning, advancing to the NFC Divisional Round, and more.

“I’m sure he won’t let that get in the way of the things we need to do, which is realizing we’re here for one reason,” Kearse said. “It’s not a Mike McCarthy vs. Green Bay game. It’s a Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay game, and that’s something the players need to understand as well.

“We want to go out there and win this for coach, but let’s understand that this is the team that’s standing in our way. Let’s not make it any bigger than it is now. Because the playoffs are already huge enough, so let’s not put anything else in there.” on him.

“Let’s go out there and win, because that’s what we have to do in order to achieve the things we set out to achieve (at the beginning of) this year.”

The truth is, McCarthy is a far cry from his days in Green Bay at this point. He left after the 2018 season and opted to take a year off from football in 2019 before signing with the Cowboys in 2020 — battling through the coronavirus pandemic and major roster and personnel changes on his way to completing the now-12-year-old’s third straight season. winning season, setting up a third straight berth in the playoffs.

And right now, there’s not a lot of familiarity with the Green Bay side of the equation anyway, with only four players on the entire roster (including the practice squad and injured reserve) who would suit up for McCarthy in Green Bay, e.g., Aaron Jones , Jair Alexander, Kenny Clarke, and David Bakhtiari.

It’s not the same team McCarthy knew, and this isn’t the same Packers McCarthy knew, at least not on the football field.

It doesn’t matter that he has a street named after him in Green Bay. Hell, if he can end a nearly 30-year drought in Dallas, there’s no way he can get one in the Metroplex as well.

The first hurdle in his 2023 postseason journey is the Packers, his former team.

“At the end of the day, this is my team — the Dallas Cowboys,” McCarthy said. “This is our chance and I’m making sure I do my part, and that means I’m doing everything I can to help win this game.”

This is what we would call… Mike’s drop.

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