These Numbers Reveal Just How Bad Things Have Been for Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys' dismal season plunged to new depths on Tuesday night as Mike McCarthy's team disintegrated in a 34-17 loss in Baltimore against the Ravens.

The Cowboys' campaign has effectively been on life support from the moment star quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5, but the dismal state of the NFC East allowed Dallas to retain slim hopes of making an improbable playoffs run.

While they remain somewhat incredibly just two games behind the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team, who currently share the lead of the NFC East, those hopes are all but extinguished following the loss in Baltimore, which left Dallas rock bottom of the division with a 3-9 record.

"It's disappointing. We had a lot of time going into this game," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters after the game.

"This was a great opportunity tonight and we obviously didn't take advantage of it.... Frankly, we need to play better. The fourth quarter of the season is upon us. Our goal is to finish strong."

When McCarthy replaced Jason Garrett as head coach in January he was tasked with maximising the potential of a team that had struggled to rise above mediocrity under his predecessor, reaching the playoffs on just three occasions in nine full seasons under Garrett and finishing with a record above .500 just four times.

The reality has been very different and after losing six of their last seven games the Cowboys are guaranteed to end with a losing record for the first time since they went 4-12 in 2015.

The trend is consistent with McCarthy's record over his last 40 games in the NFL, which reads 14-25-1.

While Prescott was on track to obliterate multiple passing records before his injury, the Cowboys defense has never looked capable of carrying the team to the playoffs, let alone to a Super Bowl the franchise has been chasing since 1995.

Injuries to key players have been a mitigating factor, but it is impossible to sugarcoat how dismal Dallas has been on the defensive side of the ball this season.

The Cowboys entered the game against the Ravens allowing an NFL-worst 32.6 points per game and have now conceded at least 20 points in each of their 12 games this season, the longest such streak in franchise history, as per NFL Research.

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Mike McCarthy, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, walks off the field after his team lost to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty

The Ravens rushed for 294 yards on Tuesday night at an astonishing average of 7.9 yards per carry. While the total fell just short of the franchise-worst 307 rushing yards the Cowboys allowed in Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns, it marked the fourth time this season they have allowed at least 200 rushing yards.

To put the figure into context, as per ESPN Stats & Info, the figure is two games shy of the most games with at least 200 rushing yards allowed the Cowboys have had in a single season since the franchise was formed in 1960.

Dallas has also been by far the worst team in the league in terms of conceding points off turnovers and their minus-92 point differential is the worst in the NFL.

The trend continued on Tuesday when Andy Dalton threw an interception in the second quarter.

The Ravens turned the pick into a one-play touchdown drive, meaning the Cowboys have been outscored 120-28 in points off turnovers this season.

On the offensive side of the ball, Dallas again lacked bite and failed to score more than 19 points for the sixth time in the last seven games, hardly a surprise given the Cowboys rank 24th in points scored in the NFL.

The fact they rank ninth in total yards of offense per game speaks volumes for their issues in converting their chances.

The special teams unit also drowned in mediocrity with Greg Zuerlein missing three field goals—the same amount he had missed in the previous 11 games this season combined.

For the Cowboys the only silver lining is that their remaining schedule is the easiest of any NFL team. That, however, may do them more harm than good as it could scupper their chances of a top-five pick in the NFL Draft.