Reaction Pours in After Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy as New Head Coach

Mike McCarthy

Getty Mike McCarthy

That was fast.

Less than 24 hours after relieving Jason Garrett of his head-coaching duties, the Dallas Cowboys nailed down his replacement: former Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike McCarthy.

The hire, expected to become official later this week, sent shockwaves throughout Cowboys Nation and the national spectrum alike. That’s what happens when it’s the most flamboyant franchise in sports executing its first coaching change in a decade.

The consensus among the media? Pretty good.

“I have, and I think it’s a pretty good fit,” wrote Hall-of-Famer and former Cowboys VP of player personnel Gil Brandt, when asked if he’s met McCarthy. “The year I was fired, McCarthy was collecting change at a Pennsylvania Turnpike toll booth, begged Mike Gottfried for a volunteer position at Pitt, got the gig and rose to the top of his profession. He’ll get the most out of this team.”

“Great hire by the Cowboys!” wrote former Raiders quarterback and current CBS NFL commentator Rich Gannon. “Had Mike McCarthy as my QB coach for 4yrs in KC and he was the best. Organized, prepared, detail oriented and a great leader! No one should be more excited than Dak Prescott.”

“Here’s something about Mike McCarthy that should encourage #DallasCowboys fans: Remember how down many people were about Andy Reid when it unraveled in Philadelphia,” wrote Yahoo Sports NFL insider Charles Robinson. “What Reid needed was a change and a fresh start. Good, successful coaches can have great second lives in the #NFL.”

McCarthy brings him with to Dallas a 125-77-2 career regular-season record (.618) and 10-8 all-time mark in the playoffs. The Packers made the postseason nine times under his watch, including a 2010 run to Super Bowl XLV, where they defeated the Steelers, 31-25, delivering the legendary franchise its fourth Vince Lombardi trophy and 13th NFL title overall.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sought a candidate with skin in the game, opting for a retread over an up-and-comer, experience over on-the-job training. McCarthy certainly fits the bill. He spent nearly two decades as an NFL assistant — offensive coordinator for the Chiefs (1993-94), Saints (2000-04) and 49ers (2005), and quarterbacks coach for Kansas City (1995-98) and Packers (1999) — before taking the big seat in Green Bay in 2006.

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Cowboys Fan Reaction a Mixed Bag

As is usually the case, the feeling from the Cowboys fan base is split into two factions: Yay and nay. You either like/love the move or you hate it. Rarely is there a purgatorial choice.

You either believe McCarthy is an upgrade on Garrett (partly by virtue of not being Jason Garrett) and are satisfied that he doesn’t use his hands as instruments …

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Or you believe Dallas could have done a whole lot better by nabbing someone young and creative (Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley), an ascending offensive play-caller (Baltimore OC Greg Roman), or a proven and still-employed head coach (Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer, New Orleans’ Sean Payton).

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