Dallas Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy

Jan 08, 2020

Brady King


photo cred: AP Images
The Dallas Cowboys have officially hired Mike McCarthy as head coach, and the press conference will be Wednesday. 

The contract is yet to be confirmed, but it is being reported as a five year deal. Jason Garrett’s contract was at $6M/year, so it’s easy to think inflation will put McCarthy at about $8M/year.

As a frame of reference, Matt Rhule’s contract with the Panthers was reported at approximately $9M/year with incentives, so it will be interesting to see what the final number is on McCarthy’s deal. 

Pending a well managed off-season by the Jones, I am going to go ahead and make my prediction: Raymond James 2021! 

Jerry Jones is going to be selling Super Bowl, so I’d love to hear if you’re buying. Fans in Cowboys country seem to be in limbo not knowing what to think. Reactions I’ve seen are split.

Some think it is too similar to Garrett, either because of their [mis]perception of what got McCarthy fired in Green Bay or their cynicism about Jerry in general, thinking he just wants a Red Ball clone. Some were enamored with unrealistic collegiate options like Lincoln Riley or Matt Rhule, or they believed a defensive-minded coach like Robert Salel from the 49ers could whip the ‘Boys into shape. Unmet expectations can crush you.

Others are more positive, considering the league cred that a ring gets you, especially one that was clinched in Jerry’s House. Then there are the instances when McCarthy was on the opposite sideline for significant victories over the Cowboys -- and not always at the hands of Aaron Rodgers. Week 15 in the 2013 regular season saw Matt Flynn upset the Cowboys. Twice, though, it was season-ending playoff losses to A-Rod & Company.

Then there are skeptics with one toe dipped in the water testing to see if it’s good to jump in. They aren’t buying the propaganda from Mike’s media tour championing how he has evolved just because he spent a school day at Pro Football Focus, but they’ll believe the narrative that this roster has the talent to win the Super Bowl. 

The bottom line is that we won’t know until a near year from now if this hire is a good one or not, if then. Theories make segments, and DFW airwaves will be occupied all month with the latest news as the staff comes together and the Cowboys enter a pivotal off-season.

While the hire could have minor ramifications, like the re-signing of Randall Cobb, the more interesting thing will be to see how Dallas revamps its defense and special teams since they went the route of an offensive mind. Smart football people routinely suggest offensive-minded head coaches are the smart hire because offense is what continues to dictate the trajectory of the league.

Mike Nolan has already been reportedly hired as the defensive coordinator. He spent the last three seasons as the New Orleans Saints linebackers coach. He has been a head coach in the league, having spent three and a half years in San Francisco from 2005-2008. That first year, McCarthy was his offensive coordinator for a single season before taking the Packers job. 

While Nolan didn’t have a winning season as a head coach, he is a valuable asset as a coordinator. The Cowboys are assimilating quite the staff, with Jim Tomsula and John Fassell also coming on board along with keeping Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator. 

As for Big Mike, he gets respect for three main accomplishments: the 2010 Super Bowl, the 2007 38-year-old Brett Favre revival, and the 2013 season where they won the division in spite of not having Rodgers for seven games.

McCarthy’s Super Bowl year wasn’t in their amazing 15-1 campaign in 2011, but rather in 2010 with a 10-6 Packers team that was 2nd in the league on defense in points allowed (15.0/g). The 2019 Cowboys were 11th at 21.1 points/game, and you can tell they are trending down.

Outside of the final season and a half that got him fired, 2008 was the only losing season he had in a decade, which happened to be Rodgers rookie year. Needless to say, he fixed the problem by proceeding to make the playoffs in eight straight years. 

Overall, his record with the Packers was 125-77-2. He broke into the NFL at age 30 as an offensive quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs with a 37-year-old Joe Montana. A football lifer, he has worked with some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, so it will be critical to see how he works with Dak. 

The Super Bowl may be the true goal, but if the Cowboys even make it to an NFC Championship game – let alone win – McCarthy’s legacy will quickly transcend Garrett’s. 

Here’s to a new decade of uncertainty with possibly Jerry’s final coach.

Comment your reaction and your prediction for next season. So let it be written; so let it be done.


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