Ex Packers boss to take over

Cowboys get their man at head coach, hiring Super Bowl winner McCarthy

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The Dallas Cowboys did not act quickly in deciding former head coach Jason Garrett's fate. The decision dragged out for nearly a week after the season.

They did, however, move quickly once the decision to fire Garrett was made.

The Cowboys on Monday named former Packers boss Mike McCarthy to be the new head coach in Dallas.

McCarthy sat out last season after being fired by the Green Bay Packers 12 games into the 2018 season.

Solid track record

In 13 seasons in Green Bay, McCarthy went 125-77-2 in the regular season for a .619 winning percentage. In the playoffs, he was 10-8 and the Packers won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season.

The Packers made the playoffs nine times in his 13 seasons, including three trips to the NFC Championship Game. Interestingly, he had a 7-3 record against the Cowboys.

The negatives

Things did not end well for McCarthy in Green Bay. The Packers went 7-9 in 2017 and were 4-7-1 in 2018 when he was let go with four games remaining in the season. He sparred with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of his tenure, and the Packers bounced back to go 13-3 in the year after McCarthy was let go.

An upgrade over Garrett

Still, his numbers tower over Garrett's. The former Cowboys coach was 85-67 over his 10 years in Dallas, making the playoffs just three times and going 2-3 in those appearances, never getting past the divisional round. Garrett had only one losing season, going 4-12 in 2015, but the Cowboys went just 8-8 this season in a year where they were expected to be Super Bowl contenders.

The bottom line

If McCarthy can replicate his successful seasons in Green Bay, Cowboys fans should be thrilled. However, if the Cowboys get the McCarthy who was run out of town after two losing seasons, the hire will be considered a failure. Odds are they will get good McCarthy, as sometimes teams just need a new voice after a long tenure. The Cowboys certainly needed that after 10 years with Garrett.

With McCarthy, they have that new voice. Whether or not it translates to new results remains to be seen, but the Cowboys have their man.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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