HomeSportsNFLMike McCarthy Motivates Cowboys By Using Baby Pictures To Illustrate Playoff Drought

Mike McCarthy Motivates Cowboys By Using Baby Pictures To Illustrate Playoff Drought

by Suzanne Halliburton
cowboys coach mike mccarthy used unusual motivation tactic for playoffs
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Maybe Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy found a perfect way to show his team how long it’s been since Dallas last won an NFL playoff game on the road.

Who cares about quoting stats like years? Mike McCarthy illustrated the point with baby photos of the Dallas gray beards.

The Cowboys last road win was on Jan. 17, 1993. In fact, we’re coming up on the 30th anniversary of Dallas beating San Francisco at Candlestick Park, back when that rivalry was one of the best in the NFL. Only 10 current Cowboys were even alive then. So Mike McCarthy asked the older Dallas dudes to send him their baby photos.

There are five 80s babies on the Cowboys roster, including 40-year-old offensive tackle Jason Peters. He was five days from his 11th birthday when Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith scored a pair of first-half touchdowns to break open the NFC title game. Long snapper Matt Overton was seven. And punter Bryan Anger, newly-signed receiver T.Y. Hilton and kicker Brett Maher were likely in daycare.

Offensive linemen Zach Martin and Tyron Smith and cornerback C.J. Goodson were in their terrible twos. Meanwhile, linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence still were in diapers. How’s that for a visual to show exactly how long it’s been. We’re wondering where Mike McCarthy got the idea and if he’s used it before.

Mike McCarthy figured out only 10 Cowboys were alive the last time Dallas won a playoff game on the road. Emmitt Smith helped break the game open in the first half against the 49ers at Candlestick Park. (ALEX GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

But this is some hard-core reality that haunts Dallas fans from off-season to off-season. Over the past three decades, the Cowboys are 0-8 in road playoff games. They’ll play Tampa, the NFC’s fourth seed, Monday, to finish the super wildcard playoff round. The Bucs play host to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Starting QB Tom Brady is 7-0, all-time against Dallas. But oddsmakers made the Cowboys about a field-goal favorite.

Since their Jan. 17 win in 1993, Dallas is 8-12, overall, in the playoffs. But the record is far worse since Troy Aikman, Smith and Michael Irvin hoisted the Super Bowl trophy on Jan. 28, 1996. That’s the last time the Cowboys won pro football’s gaudiest trophy. Quarterback Dak Prescott was 2 when the game unfolded at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. And Mike McCarthy had just finished his first season as quarterbacks coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. It was McCarthy’s first-ever job as a position coach. Maybe he’ll show off those photos.

Since that Super Bowl, the Cowboys have four playoff wins in 16 appearances.