On Wednesday evening, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys announced head coach, Mike McCarthy, will be returning for his fifth season in Dallas. With McCarthy’s contract expiring after the conclusion of the 2024 season, it’ll be a prove it or move it type of situation for McCarthy. After the recent playoff troubles one question will arise, did the Cowboys make a mistake retaining McCarthy?
Jerry Jones’ Prove It or Move It Deal
After an embarrassing 48-32 defeat against the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round, the Cowboys championship drought has now reached 29 years. Now here’s where it goes from bad to worse. This season they were 16-0 at home before the loss, the second seed in the NFC, and looked as if they weren’t ready to play.
“But, you know, we clearly picked a wrong day to have a bad day” McCarthy said during his postgame interview. That seems to be the tale for the Cowboys the past three seasons. What the fans want to know is how an NFL team comes ill-prepared for a playoff game. Let alone a home playoff game. With the severity of the loss some were calling for McCarthy’s job, and three names popped up that could help the Cowboys end their drought.
With Mike Vrabel, Bill Belichick, and Jim Harbaugh all being available, the Cowboys could’ve decided to test the waters and bring one of those three in, but considering being in a bidding war with other organizations they felt the safer option was giving McCarthy another opportunity.
Success or Lack Of
In his four seasons with Dallas, he’s finished with a 12-5 record three straight times, won two NFC East titles, and reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons. However, division titles, winning records, and regular season accolades won’t get the job done in Dallas. Especially for an organization that was on top of the food chain in the 90s.
The main issue for the Cowboys is that their postseason success doesn’t match their regular season success. Yes, 12 wins in three consecutive seasons is respectable but when you fail to make a conference championship in each of those three seasons, questions will arise. Under McCarthy, they have a 1-3 record in the playoffs and have been eliminated in the Wild Card round in two of the last three seasons.
Prove It or Move It
Some fans won’t be happy with Jones’ decisions but the truth is it may have been the best decision. There is no guarantee of landing any of the other coaching candidates and if they swung and missed on all three what would be plan D? Also, the Joneses feel the Cowboys are right there as far as competing for another Super Bowl. “I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals and the best step forward will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach”, Jones said during his presser addressing his decision.
Yes, they’ve underperformed in each of the last three postseasons but there’s relationships and a culture that McCarthy has built and it’s best to not interfere with that, especially for a team that’s at the doorstep of a Super Bowl. Also, it isn’t easy for a new coach to step in and introduce a new system and philosophy and then try to find instant success. Despite a disappointing ending to each of the last three seasons the players have spoken out and supported McCarthy so it seems they’ve bought into whatever he’s selling.
The stakes just got higher for McCarthy with him being on the last year of his contract and the rowdy Cowboys being unhappy with the direction of the team. It’ll be a prove it year for both McCarthy and the Cowboys organization. However, if they fail to reach the NFC Championship next season, the ’24 season could be his last in Dallas.
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