After putting pen to paper on his five-year contract, Mike McCarthy quickly learned he wasn’t in Green Bay anymore. Everything’s bigger in Texas, including introductions. And there’s no bigger in Texas than Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys.
Case in point: McCarthy arrived to The Star in Jones’ personal helicopter — appropriately nicknamed “Jer Force One” — for his first day at work. His Jan. 8 presser was preceded by quite the entrance, as you can see below.
Hopping from one historic NFL franchise to another was seamless for McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl with the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers. Almost as seamless as boarding a private chopper with your new boss on the first day of your new job.
“It’s a great experience that I could obviously draw from because you have the same thing here,” McCarthy said, per ESPN. “You look at the great coaches that have been here. The Super Bowl champions. All the Hall of Fame players. You look at the great quarterback play here,” McCarthy said. “There’s a lot of similarities that I feel that I can use in this particular situation. This is the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t think you have to say anything more than that. I’m just telling you. I am honored to be the steward of this iconic franchise. I told Jerry this in the interview: that I will take care of that honor and privilege and that responsibility. Because I understand it. And I know what it takes.”
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McCarthy Living on the Premises
No, he’s not exactly sleeping under his desk a la George Costanza. But McCarthy and his wife, Jessica, don’t yet have a permanent residence in Texas, so he’s hunkered down at the team headquarters, rarely venturing outside the sprawling campus — or outside, in general.
“Haven’t been outside since I stepped off that (owner Jerry Jones’) helicopter,” McCarthy said earlier this week, via SI.com’s Mike Fisher.
Making his temporary home at The Omni Hotel, which is attached to the Cowboys’ facility, McCarthy has spent the last week assembling his staff, introducing himself to players and personnel, and getting a lay of the land. The accommodations aren’t too shabby, he must say.
“I’ve eaten in the Cowboys Club every night,” he said of what Fisher describes as “the ultra-private members-only in-house restaurant atop The Star.”
McCarthy Explores Witten’s Future, Possible Coaching Job
As McCarthy completed his initial rounds through The Star, the new Cowboys head coach ran into an old face: Jason Witten, whose NFL future remains entirely up in the air.
“I had a great conversation with Jason and he’s got a number of things he’s thinking about,” McCarthy said Thursday, via the team’s official website. “I think that’s what he’s working through right now.”
Witten turns 38 in May and “speculation,” per the Cowboys’ in-house media arm, points to the graybeard tight end retiring again — permanently. But no decision has been made as he mulls his options, which include a potential foray into coaching.
Speaking last month, Witten, who’s spent 43 percent of his mortal life as a professional tight end, and 100 percent of his big-league tenure with the Cowboys, admitted that he may be approaching his final game in Dallas but not necessarily the last game of his illustrious career.
“Sure, it’s a possibility,” Witten said on Dec. 26, per ESPN.com. “I’m aware of that, but really, one of the things when I came back to play I was committed to going out there and playing every game and opportunity. So fortunate to do it. There will be time to make that decision, but I do not envision this being my last game.”
Dallas recently hired a new tight ends coach, poaching Lunda Wells from the New York Giants, but McCarthy didn’t outright dismiss Witten or veteran linebacker Sean Lee joining his staff in some capacity.
“Conversations for the future,” he said.
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