Mike McCarthy Surgery: How It Happened and What It Means for the Cowboys

Mike McCarthy, the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the recipient of the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year award, recently underwent a back surgery on May 8, 2023. The procedure was prompted by discomfort in his abdominal area. McCarthy is expected to make a complete recovery and return to coaching soon. This blog post delves into the circumstances surrounding McCarthy’s surgery, the procedure itself, and the implications for both him and the Cowboys.

How McCarthy’s Surgery Occurred

McCarthy’s surgery was a result of persistent pain and discomfort in his abdominal area, initially attributed to a stomach bug or food poisoning. Upon consultation with team doctors, he was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his lower back. This condition, caused by the slipping of the soft cushion between spinal vertebrae, led to severe pain and numbness in his legs.

Years of coaching stress and recent weight loss exacerbated McCarthy’s herniated disc. Standing, walking, and the demands of his schedule took a toll on his back. The decision to undergo a minimally invasive microdiscectomy was made after weighing the risks and benefits. The surgery, scheduled for May 8, 2023, coincided with the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp.

How McCarthy’s Surgery Progressed

Under the skilled hands of Dr. Steven Shin, a renowned spine specialist, McCarthy’s surgery went smoothly without complications or infections. The hour-long procedure involved a small incision in the back to remove the herniated disc material pressing on the nerve. McCarthy was awake and alert throughout the surgery, and it successfully alleviated his pain and restored mobility in his legs.

Following a day of observation, McCarthy was discharged with painkillers and antibiotics. Recovery instructions included rest, precautions against lifting or twisting his back, and the use of a brace for support. Prescribed exercises aimed at strengthening core and back muscles, improving posture, and enhancing flexibility.

Implications of McCarthy’s Surgery

Short Term: McCarthy’s absence from team activities during his recovery, estimated to be a few days or weeks, will impact offseason events such as the rookie minicamp and organized team activities. Assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, will oversee team activities.

Long Term: McCarthy’s surgery is not expected to have a lasting impact on his health or coaching career, provided he adheres to the recovery plan. He is anticipated to resume coaching duties, maintain his fitness, and lead the Cowboys into the upcoming season.


This blog post has explored the details surrounding Mike McCarthy’s recent surgery, including the circumstances, the procedure itself, and the implications for both McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys. While drawing on information from MSN and other sources, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the situation is dynamic, and ongoing research and analysis are essential to fully comprehend McCarthy’s recovery and performance.

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