It is hard to believe that only a week has passed since the Dallas Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs and officially began their offseason. In that time they have accomplished, using that word very loosely, a few things to set up their next run at ending the drought that they cannot escape.
Team owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones officially decided that Mike McCarthy would return for a fifth season in 2024, a decision that fell pretty flat with the fan base. On top of the disappointment encircling the team Jones has also apparently decided to send McCarthy into next season in a contract year, certainly a lightning rod for drama.
McCarthy is obviously one of the bigger talking points with the Cowboys given their lack of preparedness for the biggest moments they have faced in his tenure (he deserves credit for getting them to those moments, but obviously it loses steam when you constantly disappoint). It is starting to feel like we are in a slightly-more-elevated version of the first years of Jason Garrett’s tenure when he went 8-8 three seasons in a row and at the time many people called for his dismissal.
Peter King had quite a lot to say about Jerry Jones retaining Mike McCarthy
To be clear, going 12-5 three years in a row is far more impressive than 8-8, but without postseason success it all feels hollow. Dallas now officially holds the second-longest drought in terms of NFC Championship Game appearances and Mike McCarthy has had four tries to fix that himself and has not been able to.
Peter King discussed Jerry Jones deciding to keep Mike McCarthy during his latest Football Morning In America column and didn’t literally advocate for firing Mike McCarthy, but just about did.
King did not hold back on Jones’ decision to retain Mike McCarthy as a whole.
Mike McCarthy. It sounds crazy, to advocate for the firing of a coach who’s won 12 regular-season games in each of the last three seasons. And of course it didn’t happen, with Jerry Jones announcing Wednesday McCarthy would be back — on the last year of his contract — in 2024. But the way these last three seasons have ended is beyond concerning. The clock mismanagement at the end of the home playoff loss to the Niners two years ago. The utter offensive toothlessness at San Francisco last year. Falling behind 27-0 after 19 minutes to the seventh-seeded Packers at home. Seriously: With the same staff and same core, do you really expect anything different in 2024? This is a franchise that needs to be taken by the scruff of the neck, shaken, and changed from the inside out. But no. Instead, Jones is running it back. Now, it could be true that Bill Belichick told Jones — directly or through intermediaries — that he had no interest in joining the circus. Even if that’s so, Belichick Lite, Mike Vrabel, would have been a smart chase. For a man who made millions risking it all in the oil business, Jones has been surprisingly passive in trying to win it all over the past 28 years.
King fairly asked why the Cowboys expect anything to be different in a contract year for Mike McCarthy which is personifying the “definition of insanity” quote. Expecting anything to be different simply because you want it to be is also hardly a strategy.
Perhaps Bill Belichick, and even Mike Vrabel, or whoever else said no in their own ways which left the Cowboys with no choice but to bring back McCarthy. But King is correct in a general sense in noting how passive the Cowboys have been, although that has really only been the case from a roster-construction standpoint for about 10 years.
We have noted many times that the Brandon Carr deal in 2012 was the last “big” free agency move that the Cowboys have made. Coupling that with the notion that they haven’t fired a head coach since Wade Phillips halfway through the 2010 season proves that they are not an organization that makes “big” moves. That can be argued as a good thing in some sense in that they try to keep themselves steady, but when the results continue to be what they are, perhaps it is time to change things up a bit.