The Dallas Cowboys continued their winning ways on Sunday, defeating the lowly Carolina Panthers to improve to 7-3 on the season.
In the process, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy accomplished a special feat. McCarthy led Dallas to a 7-3 start for the third consecutive season, becoming just the second coach in franchise history to do so..
The other coach to accomplish such a feat? None other than the late, great Tom Landry.
That sounds utterly bizarre for a franchise as storied as the Cowboys. Landry obviously makes sense as the first and by far the greatest coach in franchise history who guided the Cowboys for almost 30 years, but no one else joining him until now seems unbelievable. Not Jimmy Johnson, who led Dallas to back-to-back Super Bowls in the 90s. Not Barry Switzer, who had three straight 10-win seasons despite his ugly exit from Dallas. No, it's McCarthy, a hire many criticized at the time in 2020, who finally joined Landry in this extremely exclusive club.
Of course, McCarthy still has a very long way to go to even come close to Landry's legacy. He's in just his fourth season compared to Landry's 29, and the latter also has two Super Bowls under his belt while the former is still looking for his first with the Cowboys. Even if McCarthy somehow accomplishes all that, he can never claim to have built the Cowboys from the ground up like Landry did.
Still, it speaks to what McCarthy has done with the Cowboys, which is bringing a level of stability that hasn't been seen in decades. Dallas had only started 7-3 six times in the 21st Century before McCarthy arrived, and now they've done it three times in a row. McCarthy is also on track to lead the Cowboys to their third straight playoff appearance, which they haven't done since the early to mid 90s.
While Dallas is still looking for that ever-elusive postseason success, it's hard to deny what McCarthy has done in such a short time.