Is hot seat fair to Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy as key injuries continue to mount?

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Is hot seat fair to Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy as key injuries continue to mount?

It was the 17th question of the news conference, about 7 minutes, 50 seconds in, after the Dallas Cowboys’ Sunday night 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Before the season there was a narrative out there with you being on the hot seat,” a reporter asked coach Mike McCarthy. “After a performance like this, do you feel that pressure vacillate?”

“I’m 0-1, we’re 0-1 as a football team,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, I got a little more work to do coming out of this game than I would like, but that’s our business.”

Fairly or not, each week will be a referendum on McCarthy’s immediate and long-term future. That was the biggest storyline coming into the season after a disappointing end to the 2021 campaign with a home playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers in January.

With the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals visiting AT&T on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), McCarthy will look to avoid his first 0-2 start since his first year with the Green Bay Packers (2006).

Now he will have to do it without starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who had right thumb surgery on Monday. Prescott’s return is uncertain, although owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas during the week that the quarterback could return within four weeks. Before the surgery, sources said Prescott would need six to eight weeks to recover.

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