The Dallas Cowboys retain Mike McCarthy as head coach

FRISCO, Texas – Mike McCarthy will return for a fifth season as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, it was announced Wednesday.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones met with McCarthy on Wednesday, after the coach completed exit interviews with the players.

“I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals and the best step forward for us will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach,” Jones said in a statement released by the team. “There is a huge benefit to the team continuing to progress under Mike as our head coach.”

The Cowboys are coming off a big loss to the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium that left Jones “on the floor.” After the regular season finale against the Washington Commanders, Jones praised McCarthy but also said, “We'll see how each game goes” when asked about the coach's future.

All of this has led to speculation that Jones could replace McCarthy.

“Our loss on Sunday is shared by everyone here, not just Coach McCarthy,” Jones said in a statement Wednesday. “Our players. Our coaches. Our front office. Me. There is a responsibility to our results. I am responsible for our results. The lens we use to view and evaluate Coach McCarthy is a holistic lens. While we are all disappointed with the result we had. On Sunday and with our record in the playoffs, I support him.” “100% as our head coach and our ability to achieve our goals.”

McCarthy posted a 42-25 regular season record with NFC East titles in 2021 and 2023. The Cowboys became the first team in the Super Bowl era to win 12 games in three straight seasons but did not advance to at least the conference title game in that span.

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McCarthy has a 1-3 postseason record in Dallas, with home losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Packers in the Wild Card round in two of the last three years. His only win came in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2022 Wild Card Round playoff game in what turned out to be the final game of Tom Brady's career.

McCarthy was hired in 2020 after a year's absence following his firing in Green Bay in part to do what his predecessor Jason Garrett couldn't: win a Super Bowl. The Cowboys are still hoping that happens, which would give McCarthy two championships. He won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers in 2010 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“There are many layers of success that have occurred this season as a result of Mike's approach to leading the team, both with the individual players and with our team collectively,” Jones said in his statement. “Mike has the highest regular season winning percentage of any head coach in Cowboys history and we will dedicate ourselves, in partnership with him, to translating that into achieving our postseason goals. Certainly, Mike's career has demonstrated postseason success at a high level, and we have every confidence in his potential.” Continuation”.

McCarthy's return poses an interesting dynamic if the five-year contract he signed in 2020 isn't reworked. Twice, Jones was Garrett's coach in the final year of his contract. In 2014, the Cowboys went 12-4, winning the NFC East and losing to McCarthy's Packers in the divisional round, and Garrett was rewarded with a five-year extension. In 2019, Garrett went 8-8 and missed the playoffs, leading to his departure.

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Quarterback Dak Prescott is also scheduled to enter the final year of his four-year, $160 million contract in 2024. There is a no-trade clause in his deal and the Cowboys cannot place the franchise tag on him in 2025. He is scheduled to count 59.4 million dollars against the salary cap, which is the second-largest number in the NFL.

If Prescott, who is now 2-5 in the playoffs, can get the Cowboys at least to the conference title game — if not the Super Bowl — in 2024, he will have tremendous leverage over the franchise that selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. If he doesn't, the Cowboys will be free to move on from him after nine full seasons as their starter without eventual playoff success.

The Cowboys could also be in the market for a defensive coordinator with Dan Quinn scheduled to interview with five teams: Carolina Panthers, Commanders, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.

“We will begin the review and decision-making process regarding everything that impacts our team and roster,” Jones said in his statement, “and while we will not address specific players, additions or free agents at this point, he deserves our deep review and attention, and he will get it.”

In 2023, McCarthy took over play-calling duties from Kellen Moore and oversaw Prescott's best season (36 touchdown passes, nine interceptions) after the quarterback had 15 interceptions in 2022, which tied for the most in the NFL despite missing… Prescott missed five games with a broken thumb. . The Cowboys led the league in points per game (29.9) and ranked fifth in yards per game (376.1).

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With the recent position changes for Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, McCarthy's 167 wins are currently third among active coaches behind Andy Reid and Mike Tomlin.

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