If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan satisfied with Mike McCarthy assuming the head-coaching position, be sure to thank Jay Glazer.
The well-connected NFL insider, who broke the news of McCarthy’s hiring, revealed to SB Nation that he played a part — a big part — in Dallas landing McCarthy. As the story goes, Jerry and Stephen Jones initially looked in an entirely different direction after firing offensive-minded Jason Garrett.
Then came the kibosh.
“Originally the Cowboys owners wanted a defensive coach because they wanted to keep the offensive staff,” Glazer said on Radio Row at the Super Bowl. “I’m like, don’t do that, guys. And I talk to the Joneses about it. I said don’t do that. You get yourself in trouble that way. Get a leader of men. Get a guy who’s going to formulate the attitude of your team. This is who you want.”
Reading between the lines, it appears the Cowboys may have been targeting Vikings HC Mike Zimmer, once the subject of swirling trade (yes, trade) speculation. However, Minnesota confirmed Zimmer’s return following their playoff loss to the eventual NFC-champion 49ers, forcing the Joneses to look elsewhere.
The Cowboys interviewed just two candidates — McCarthy and ex-Bengals HC Marvin Lewis, whose background is defense — before settling on the former. Jerry Jones dubbed the acquisition “fortuitous” due to McCarthy’s experience and resume, highlighted by a Super Bowl title.
“Yes, we needed Mike. We needed a coach. But to have his availability and to have his track record and ability to check all the boxes that I just talked about was fortuitous for this franchise,” he said, per NFL.com. “… And so while our time together initially talking about this job was meaningful, so much more went into how and why he’s sitting at this table today.”
At the time of his hiring, and from the outset, Glazer reported that McCarthy was the coach they wanted. Following a deep-dive into his background, McCarthy was the coach they needed.
“At first they wanted defense,” Glazer said on Jan. 6, via SB Nation. “The more they did research on Mike McCarthy, the more they really started to fall in love with the grunt that is Mike McCarthy. He is a football guy. And when they met with him and interviewed him, I think they looked at it and said there’s such a difference between him and Jason Garrett.”
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Glazer Drops Anecdote Story on McCarthy
During his aforementioned Radio Row interview, Glazer, among the most accurate news-breakers in the business, shared a first-hand account detailing the type of man McCarthy is — a good coach but a better human.
Via SB Nation:
“Mike is about as real a guy as you get. I have this foundation. My MVP charity, merging vets and players. We take former combat vets and we merge them together with former NFL players. Kind of help them through the transition. Mike McCarthy is our second-biggest donor. He met a Navy Seal Operative, a Commander, who we talked out of committing suicide. We coached him out of, I should say. That’s what we do. We coach each other up. And why we need you here and why you’ve got to be proud of your scars. And why you need to look at your time and your teams and just cause your uniform comes off doesn’t mean you’re great in sleeves. And we need you here. And he was around this one guy with me and Mike turned around, on the spot, and wrote a check for $100,000 saying ‘I want to open up in Chicago. I’ll pay. Boom.’ So he’s a good man.”
If you were pessimistic regarding McCarthy’s arrival, perhaps this gives pause. Say what you will about how his Green Bay tenure ended, nobody can ever question his heart, on the field and off of it.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL