There were mixed messages coming out of Texas in regards to the future of Mike McCarthy as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. What should we believe?
There’s no shortage of blame to go around for the Dallas Cowboys after yet another failed season. The NFC East champs went 12-5 in the regular season but again struggled with playoff-caliber teams and in the end, went one-and-done in the postseason.
Even worse is how they basically performed the way we have seen all season — or maybe even the past 30 years. Dallas spent the majority of the game causing self-inflicted harm, gave it all they could to get back in the game late, fell short, then blamed everyone else.
Sure, there were some questionable calls but the Cowboys constantly put themselves in a position where one mistake late can end the game, and it keeps happening. They’re simply unprepared, undisciplined, and even worse, unaccountable — see Dak Prescott and other leaders going all-in on the refs following losses.
Those kinds of flaws fall directly on the head coach, which is Mike McCarthy. And after the game, team owner Jerry Jones wanted no part of talking about McCarthy’s future. However, Jason La Canfora said the emotional owner could look to make a change so he doesn’t lose Kellen Moore the way he lost Sean Payton many years ago when he foolishly clung to Bill Parcells who had one foot out of the door.
His son was more direct as Stephen Jones said he “absolutely” expects McCarthy to return in 2022 and coach the team. For what it’s worth, McCarthy also expects to return and said he’s proud of his team.
Will the Dallas Cowboys keep McCarthy?
The question is whether or not Stephen Jones is right. Sure, he makes many of the calls but his father is still the owner of the team. They work together more than ever but Jerry could always overrule the rest of the front office if he feels strongly enough that McCarthy is to blame.
While that question of whether or not the Jones boys are on the same page is hard to answer, it does bring up another question: Is Mike McCarthy to blame?
That answer is two-fold.
On one hand, he is to blame. McCarthy clearly doesn’t have this team disciplined and they’re not prepared for big games. Far too often, they fall behind early as they continue to be one of the slowest starting teams. They’re also among the most penalized teams. The problem is, we can say these same things every year — regardless of who the coach is.
This fact suggests the problem goes much deeper than the head coach and the Jones family should look at themselves in the mirror. Their involvement, especially Jerry’s, was easy to see during ‘Hard Knocks’ and it’s a problem. In fact, it’s the biggest problem they have — and it’s why they have been a proverbial dumpster fire since the days of Hammer Pants and VHS tapes.
Jones provides players a direct line to the owner which allows them to go over the head of the coach. This limits his power and players know they only have to listen to him just enough to keep Jones from getting mad. As long as he’s good with them, however, they will never be in danger of losing their jobs — or playing time.
In the end, the front office will surely get on the same page, and chances are the younger Jones is the accurate one. Mike McCarthy will probably be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2022.
Unfortunately for their fans, it won’t matter either way. As long as the Jones family is running this team, it will take a miracle for them to overcome their own issues.
It always starts at the top, and the top in Big D has been sour since well before McCarthy was put in charge.