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Volume 27 No. 10
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Jerry Jones' Win-Now Attitude Leads To Mike McCarthy Hiring

The Cowboys opted for an experienced NFL coach in McCarthy rather than a younger, offensive mind
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Cowboys opted for an experienced NFL coach in McCarthy rather than a younger, offensive mind
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Cowboys opted for an experienced NFL coach in McCarthy rather than a younger, offensive mind
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "landed arguably the most accomplished coach on the market" in Mike McCarthy, and now, he will "count on McCarthy to usher 'America's Team' into a new era he hopes closely resembles the days when 'the Star' shined its brightest," according to Mike Jones of USA TODAY. Jones "appears to have scored quite the rebound" after an "unsurprising yet long and dramatic breakup" with Jason Garrett. The Cowboys hiring McCarthy "just makes so much sense." Jones: "So business-like. So un-flashy. So un-Jerry-like." McCarthy "might seem like a safe hire." But there is "nothing wrong with safe if it's also the superior option" (USA TODAY, 1/7). In Dallas, Calvin Watkins writes Jones with the McCarthy hire "ignored pleas from fans and many in the media who wanted the Cowboys' owner and general manager to hire a young, innovative mind from the college or pro ranks" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). THE ATHLETIC's Michael Lombardi wrote the Cowboys were "never looking for the best coach, nor the smartest." They were "looking for the right fit, the right person who's compatible with their organization." The Jones family "believes wholeheartedly that their system, their method of running the team, their culture with Jerry at the forefront as the spokesman for all things Cowboys, actually works" (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/6).

CAN THEY COEXIST? In DC, Des Bieler writes McCarthy will "have to deal with the league's most hands-on owner" in Jones. Pro Football HOFer Brett Favre, who played under McCarthy while with the Packers, said, "I don't know Jerry other than what I see and hear. Obviously, he's the owner and everything starts and stops with him." He added about McCarthy, "He knows that maybe at times Jerry will interfere or say things that you don't agree with or don't like. But it is what it is" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/7). In Austin, Cedric Golden writes how McCarthy "coexists with Jones and his son," COO, Exec VP & Dir of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, will "go a long way in determining whether Jerry will witness his beloved Cowboys return to a Super Bowl for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/7). In DC, Mark Maske notes McCarthy "probably believes he has an idea of what he is getting into, but there will be a learning curve for him in that respect" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/7). ESPN's Ed Werder said people in the league believe McCarthy can "function and win in a unique Cowboys organization where Jones maintains a very public role in the football aspect uncommon among NFL owners" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 1/6). ESPN's Jalen Rose said Jones wanted a coach who he "feels like he can command the locker room but at the same time won’t get in his way when he (is) commanding the media after every game" ("Jalen & Jacoby," ESPN2, 1/6). FS1’s LaVar Arrington said McCarthy does not have “so big of a personality where it makes Jerry uncomfortable, but the calm, strong demeanor to really develop a personality and identity for this team." But FS1's Tony Gonzalez said this could be Jones' way of "saying maybe he's giving up the reins." FS1's Jason Whitlock noted McCarthy is “not a personality that’s going to remotely challenge Jerry Jones." Whitlock: "This hire to me says Jerry is still going to be the face and voice of this franchise” ("Speak for Yourself," FS1, 1/6). 

SOMEONE WHO CAN WIN NOW: THE RINGER's Riley McAtee wrote McCarthy is "set up for immediate success in Dallas, which has one of the best rosters" in the NFL. The 77-year-old Jerry Jones is "looking to add a Super Bowl ring to his collection as soon as possible," which may "explain why he prioritized a candidate with previous experience" (THERINGER.com, 1/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson wrote Cowboys fans "should be inclined to give McCarthy a chance if only because there is some logic to what Jones is seeking." Jones is "not willing to go through another one of those decades with a college guy, or even a coordinator." Instead, he is "staring at a roster that is primed to be steered by someone experienced right now" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/6). In Austin, Kirk Bohls wrote Jones "did not want to roll the dice" with this hire. He "stuck with tried and true" and "went with proven." Jones "desired NFL experience" because he knows his "own clock is ticking" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/7). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes McCarthy is a "solid, slightly dull, NFL head coach with a long resume," and hiring him is a "good decision." There will be "no learning curve with McCarthy, which clearly was the goal of Jerry and Stephen Jones" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/7). ESPN's Scott Van Pelt said McCarthy is "exactly who they should have been looking for at this stage" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/6).

PLAYING IT SAFE? THE MMQB's Albert Breer wrote for the Cowboys, this "wasn't the time to take chances at head coach." Whoever "walked through the door in Frisco needed to bring credibility to steady a ship that was knocked well off course" in '19. The roster "isn't broken, nor is it far off from being at a championship level." Which made "taking a risk, for a man who's made his fortune on high-yield gambles, the wrong play this time around" (SI.com, 1/6). SI.com's Conor Orr wrote in hiring McCarthy, Jones' goal was "simply to bet on something that, he hopes, has a smaller chance of crashing and burning" (SI.com, 1/6). In Dallas, David Moore writes landing McCarthy is either "brilliant or uninspired, depending on which extreme of the social media spectrum you inhabit." In terms of available candidates with NFL experience, none has a more "accomplished resume" than McCarthy. The Cowboys "aren't interested in seeing what McCarthy can become." They hired him because of "who he is and what he's already accomplished" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7).

MISSED CHANCE TO GO BIG: USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes given what a "pivotal point this is for the Cowboys, Jones owed it to his franchise and everyone associated with it to be bold in his thinking." Instead, Jones "took the safe route" (USA TODAY, 1/7). In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw writes the Cowboys on paper "made the most logical decision in the history of Jerry Jones coaching hires." But "question marks hover." Cowlishaw: "It doesn't feel like a home run, something to make the fan base go 'wow,' and I thought this was the time that Jones would be desperate to make such a move" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). CBSSPORTS.com's Jared Dubin: "Five Ways Mike McCarthy Can Make The Cowboys Contenders And Be Considered A Success" (1/6).