The temperature under Mike McCarthy’s posterior is as warm as a mid-summer Frisco day.
This, according to Bleacher Report, which recently gauged each NFL head coach’s job security heading into the 2021 season. McCarthy’s seat was defined as “hot” coming off a disappointing inaugural campaign with the Dallas Cowboys.
McCarthy clearly deserves another chance, but he can’t afford to flounder out of the gate for an organization that expects nothing short of a Super Bowl run.
The Cowboys extended Prescott and kept the veteran head coach to win now. They need to have a good draft to fill in the holes on the roster—offensive tackle and tight end are two areas of concern still—but should have all the pieces in place soon enough to win a wide-open division. Failing to do so will likely result in Jerry Jones’ handing McCarthy a pink slip rather than giving him another chance in 2022.
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Less Pressure Than Assumed?
McCarthy’s first year in Dallas was wholly uninspiring as the injury-wracked club limped to a 6-10 record. But nobody expected the Cowboys to pull the plug after only one season — his honeymoon.
And although scholarship is over for McCarthy, whose squad (barring its health) has no excuses for 2021, the former Packers Super Bowl-winning coach has a longer leash than many anticipate, ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano opined last month.
“Probably not as much [pressure on McCarthy to win] as there should be,” Graziano said. “If you look at Jerry Jones’ history as the owner of the Cowboys, every coach except for one, Chan Gailey, has gotten more than two years. … I don’t think Mike McCarthy, barring some kind of complete disaster, will be facing any significant job pressure at the end of this year. You hear him talking about last year and how it was kind of a lost year, and I think a lot of people feel that way.”
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Ex-NFL GM Trashes McCarthy
Reacting to McCarthy’s March press conference in which he deferred blame for the team’s 2020 struggles, particularly on defense, former New York Jets general manager and current ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum blasted what were, to him, “really disappointing” remarks.
“I think his comments fell short. Jerry Jones hired a battlefield commander, not an excuse-maker,” Tannenbaum said of McCarthy on ESPN’s Get Up. “Why don’t we compare what happened in Washington? With everything going on with COVID, [head coach] Ron Rivera was a cancer survivor, they had four different quarterbacks start for them — and they won the NFC East. Ron Rivera, if he had opted out, nobody would’ve said anything. But he persevered and led his team to the playoffs.
“I was disappointed by those comments. Obviously, they want to have a full offseason, have the quarterback at full health. They’re getting back a lot of players. I understand that. But you’re the head coach, and you want to lead without excuses. We’re in a performance business.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL