Is Mike McCarthy Fooling Himself About Jerry Jones?

Mike McCarthy has landed his first NFL job after being fired by the Green Bay Packers at the end of last season. As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the 56-year-old will either endear himself to one of the most passionate fanbases in sports or lose them if the team doesn’t perform.

After a tumultuous ending in Green Bay, McCarthy has been promised more power than he ever experienced with the Packers. Under Jerry Jones, however, this promise may be broken the minute he changes his mind.

Mike McCarthy’s bigger role?

McCarthy held a press conference alongside Jones as soon as the Cowboys announced him as the new coach. Leading what many perceive to be America’s Team is a dream job for many, but working for Jones could put a damper on this. Jones notoriously wants everything done his way, taking on the role of a general manager rather than hiring someone else.

McCarthy had a rough ending in Green Bay due in large part to his relationship with Aaron Rodgers souring over time, with many claiming that the two had never been on the same page. This might be why McCarthy is seeking more power in Dallas, but while Jones might be on the same page as his new coach now, he’s notoriously finicky. 

Will Jerry Jones’ new partnership work? 

(L-R) Executive Vice President Stephen Jones, head coach Mike McCarthy, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talk with the media
(L-R) Cowboys Executive VP Stephen Jones, head coach Mike McCarthy, and owner Jerry Jones | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Despite his rocky ending with the Packers, McCarthy is a very good coach. Jones would be wise to not only trust him with the in-game decisions but with the personnel moves, too. The Cowboys exist on a plane that few professionals could ever dream of.

On the plus side, this means that any success McCarthy has will be seen as a reflection of him. If he could return the team to contention, he could be viewed alongside the likes of Jimmy Johnson as a legend in Cowboys’ circles. McCarthy knows this and acknowledged that there’s a brand he has to live up to succeed. 

“We just talked more about culture and the program and how I view things and how we did it in Green Bay and how they’ve done it here,” McCarthy said, according to The Star-Telegram. “I feel great about what’s in place already here.”

Every coach says the right things at their introductory press conference, and relationships like his and Jones are bound to start well. Jones’ history shows that this could easily change, however. 

Jones could hurt this

If Jerry Jones wanted to win another person’s way, he would have hired a general manager and let the team reach its highest potential. Instead, he continues to show that he wants to be a part of the product. Maybe McCarthy will do all of the right things; he and Jones can work together to reach the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl.

If McCarthy does anything Jones doesn’t like, he can expect to hear about it and have Jones meddling in his affairs. Garrett lasted a decade in Dallas, and many believed he overstayed his welcome because he would always do precisely what Jones wants. McCarthy can clash with people, however. This has the chance to go nuclear if he clashes with Jones. 

McCarthy’s signing marks the beginning of yet another era in Cowboys annals. If history repeats itself, however, Jones’ promises of power could be nothing more than delusions.

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