Between Dak Prescott’s injury and a losing record, it is hard to imagine the start to the Mike McCarthy era with the Dallas Cowboys going any worse. It is causing some analysts to believe the pressure is on McCarthy to pull off a massive turnaround in 2021.
During ESPN’s preview of the NFC East, reporter Jordan Raanan labeled McCarthy as the one coach on the hot seat inside the division. Raanan believes it is playoffs or bust for McCarthy to have any job security heading into next offseason.
“It is a close call between Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy and Jones, the Giants QB,” Raanan detailed. “There is just no way McCarthy can survive anything but making the playoffs this season with Prescott healthy and the talent on that roster. Jones can make strides and be a middle-of-the-road quarterback in a losing season and get another season. McCarthy doesn’t have that luxury. It’s now or never with the Cowboys coach being exposed.”
Jones Labeled Rumors of McCarthy Being on the Hot Seat as ‘Ridiculous’ in December
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones exercised a great deal of patience with previous head coach Jason Garrett, and it will be interesting to see how much leeway McCarthy receives given he is not a former Dallas quarterback like his predecessor. Despite the Cowboys’ struggles last season, Jones has gone out of his way to back McCarthy. During a December interview with 105.3 The Fan, Jones described speculation that McCarthy would not be back in 2021 as “ridiculous.”
“Not one time have I been in any discussion, had any dream, or given a thought to anything but Mike McCarthy being our head coach next year, and being our coach of the future,” Jones explained. “How in the hell something like that could get going in a conversation with Stephen [Jones] or anybody else about whether McCarthy is going to be the coach or not is ridiculous.”
McCarthy Signed a 5-Year Deal With the Cowboys in 2020
Jones went on to emphasize that the Cowboys had unfortunate luck with injuries which also made things more than challenging for Mccarthy. The Cowboys coach had a nontraditional debut season in Dallas given the ongoing pandemic, and it will be worth watching how the team performs in his second year after a typical offseason.
“There will be absolutely no change with coach McCarthy,” Jones added. “I am surprised someone would question these unprecedented situations that everybody’s been in. On top of that, no one’s making excuses, but we’ve had some challenges in the injury category. If you look at his track record, and his pedigree, he’s consistently won year-in-and-year-out. We have the utmost confidence this ship is going to be righted quickly. Mike’s going to be the leader of this group. He’s, certainly, a great head coach. I think we’re going to see that going forward. He’s accomplished a lot, and he’s going to accomplish a lot more before it’s all said and done.”
Beyond Jones’ public backing, there are financial reasons to believe McCarthy will be in Dallas for the foreseeable future. McCarthy still has four years remaining on a five-year deal he signed in 2020, per NFL.com. The Cowboys, like every NFL team, are coming off a year of lost revenue with limited fans being allowed in the stands last season.