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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is 18-15 in 33 games coaching America’s Team. He went 6-10 in Year 1 after losing star quarterback Dak Prescott and 12-5 in Year 2 with Prescott back. That second season ended in a disappointing 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Wild Card Round.

For most NFL coaches, this start would be enough to guarantee them a few more seasons in charge of the team. However, most NFL coaches don’t have Jerry Jones as a boss.

Mike McCarthy needs to have an incredible season to keep his job as Dallas Cowboys head coach

Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022.
Mike McCarthy | Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

For Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, the grass is always greener on the other side of the coaching tree.

When Jimmy Johnson was winning Super Bowls, Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer was the prize. During Chan Gailey’s time at the helm, defensive coordinator Dave Campo was the apple of Jones’ eye. And when the Cowboys boss hired Wade Phillips to succeed Bill Parcells, he couldn’t wait to replace him with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Now, with Mike McCarthy leading the Cowboys, the coach’s leash is incredibly short.

This time, Jones covets the one that got away.

From 2003 to 2005, Sean Payton was Parcells’ assistant head coach, quarterbacks coach, and passing game coordinator. In 2006, Payton left to take the New Orleans Saints job. A 152-89 record and Super Bowl championship followed.

Jones has always regretted letting Payton walk and has tried to hire him in the past, per PFT’s Mike Florio. Now Florio thinks McCarthy needs an exceptional performance from his team this year to keep his job:

Round of eight at a minimum, since the team hasn’t gotten any farther than that since 1995. With Sean Payton destined to return to coaching in 2023, it may take a berth in the NFC Championship to save McCarthy.

Mike Florio on Mike McCarthy keeping his job as Dallas Cowboys head coach

The Cowboys walked to an NFC East win last year, but even making the playoffs will be more difficult this season. The Philadelphia Eagles added weapons like A.J. Brown, the Washington Commanders upgraded at QB with Carson Wentz, and the New York Giants now (seemingly) have a competent coach in Brian Daboll.

All this could add up to 2022 being McCarthy’s last season in Big D.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference


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