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Mike McCarthy in search of historic win over 49ers to regain credibility as coach

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy left the Green Bay Packers in Dec. 2018 and has since struggled to regain his credibility as the leader of a franchise.

McCarthy, 59, will look to get Dallas into the Conference Finals for the first time since 1995. Kickoff for the Divisional Round clash against the San Francisco 49ers is scheduled for Sunday at 15:30 PT from Levi's Stadium.

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After 13 seasons at the helm in Green Bay, leading the team to victory in Super Bowl XLV, McCarthy should be respected as a top head coach in the league.

Having quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his side for that many years, however, has worked against McCarthy in terms of his legacy.

During his Packers tenure, McCarthy also coached Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Rodgers, though, was eventually responsible for McCarthy's downfall, as the franchise is rumored to have chosen the QB over the HC.

Even then, McCarthy was known as a poor leader. Players reportedly lost confidence in him and stopped following his instructions on the gridiron.

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McCarthy spent 2019 on sabbatical and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was severely criticized for hiring him in 2020.

Cowboys finished the 2020 NFL season with a losing record at 6-10. Dak Prescott was unavailable for most of the year due to injury.

In 2021, Dallas won the NFC East title with a 12-5 record, and Dan Quinn built a solid defense with linebacker Micah Parsons as the focal point.

The team won five of its last six regular seasono games, but had a woeful playoff performance, losing 23-17 at home to the 49ers.

Despite the great regular season, Cowboys fans still called for McCarthy's job, but Jones decided to give him another chance.

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Despite former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton becoming a fan-favorite to replace him, McCarthy responded with a second straight 12-win season. Last time the team won 10 or more games in consecutive seasons was in 1995-96.

He also won four of five games with Cooper Rush at QB after Prescott's throwing hand injury. The icing on the cake was that McCarthy led the Cowboys to its first franchise win over Tom Brady, setting the record at 1-7.

In the eyes of the fans, McCarthy will once again be playing for his life in the playoffs against San Francisco, but this time in the Divisional Round.

Jones, however, has already stated that McCarthy's job is not on the line Sunday.

Niners are on an 11-game winning streak and are 4.5-point favorites to win at home.

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