Why did Jerry Jones retain HC Mike McCarthy? Cowboys owner provides explanation

The speculation about head coach Mike McCarthy’s dismissal grew louder following the Dallas Cowboys’ unexpected Wild Card Round defeat to Jordan Love’s Green Bay Packers squad. The Cowboys used to boast the league’s highest-scoring offense, a top-five defense, and also secured the NFC East’s top spot with a 12-5 record. However, the team faltered at home against the struggling Packers, who needed a Week 18 win to secure a playoff berth.

While the Cowboys’ regular-season success was notable, the postseason stumble highlighted their prolonged struggle. The disappointing outcome intensified scrutiny on McCarthy, but team owner Jerry Jones opted to retain him for the 2024 NFL season.

Why did Jerry Jones keep Mike McCarthy?

The Cowboys have been struggling with a playoff hump for a prolonged period. They hired Mike McCarthy back in 2020 to get over the misfortune. After four years, the HC couldn’t succeed but Jerry Jones decided to give him another chance. He emphasized the layers of success attributed to McCarthy’s coaching approach, both in dealing with individual players and fostering collective teamwork.

“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. There is great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach. Specifically, there are many layers of success that have occurred this season as a result of Mike’s approach to leading the team, both with individual players and with our team collectively”, Jones wrote.

One significant factor that likely played a role in Jones’ decision is the HC’s regular season winning percentage, the highest of any HC in Cowboys history.

“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 reaching our postseason goals. Certainly, Mike’s career has demonstrated postseason success at a high level, and we have great confidence that can continue.”

Addressing the recent loss, Jones said the accountability extends beyond the head coach to encompass players, coaches, and the front office, including himself. He concluded by assuring fans that the franchise would thoroughly evaluate all aspects impacting the team, from players to potential extensions and free agents.

“While we’re all disappointed with the result on Sunday and with our playoff record, I am 100-percent supportive of him as our head coach and ability to reach our goals. We will start our process of review and decision making regarding everything that impacts our team and roster and, while we’re not going to address specific players and extensions or free agents at this point, it deserves our deepest review and consideration, and it will get it.”

Jones looked completely stunned by the loss against Jordan Love and Co. But apparently the disappointment was not enough to sack Mike McCarthy and sign someone like Bill Belichick, who recently departed with the New England Patriots.

Cowboys performances under Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy’s tenure as the head coach of the Cowboys has been marked by both success and challenges. Since stepping into the role after Jason Garrett’s departure, he has led the team to a notable 42-25 record.

One of the veteran’s significant achievements is securing two NFC East titles in the past three seasons. Under his leadership, the Cowboys have clinched playoff berths for three consecutive seasons, a feat not achieved since the franchise’s glory days in the early ’90s, marked by Super Bowl victories.

Mike McCarthy
Dallas Morning News

In the 2023 NFL season, the 60-year-old coach’s influence on the Cowboys offensive prowess was evident. They finished first in points per game (29.9) and fifth in total yards (371.6).

Besides that, a standout achievement for the HC is becoming the first Cowboys coach to achieve three straight 12-win seasons, albeit partly influenced by the transition to a 17-game schedule. However, the postseason has presented challenges for him and the team. With a 1-3 postseason record since 2020, Mike McCarthy is part of a recent trend where the franchise’s head coaches have fallen short of guiding the team past the Divisional Round.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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