Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed his confidence in the team’s head coach, Mike McCarthy, on Tuesday.
“I want to be real clear: He wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t think he was the man to lead this team to a Super Bowl,” Jones told reporters as the Cowboys were set to begin training camp in Oxnard, California.
“And I have choices,” Jones continued. “That’s not meant to be insensitive to anybody. That’s a fact. … The guy to my right is who I’m convicted about, have been. We’ve certainly have had things we have addressed, and the way we addressed them in the offseason, I think we have successfully put together a staff that, from this vantage point, gives us absolutely the best chance with our makeup and our team to get to the ultimate success.”
McCarthy’s job security had been the subject of scrutiny well before the team began training camp on Tuesday.
After the Cowboys ran away with the NFC East title and finished 12-5 last season, they were the only home team to lose in the wild-card round of the playoffs when time ran out on them against the San Francisco 49ers.
After that, Jones used a curious choice of words on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas when talking about his team’s head coach.
“Mike knows that someday somebody other than him will be coach of the Cowboys,” Jones told the radio station.
Speaking with The Dallas Morning News, McCarthy expressed his annoyance with the continued discussion over his job security in Dallas.
“It’s irritating that the first question you ask me has nothing to do with how I do my job,” he said. “I show up every day for work to win a championship. How do we win today? That’s what I’m asking.
“My viewpoint is it’s not a story. It’s a media-driven narrative, or at least a narrative driven outside my realm.”
Still, it is clear that with Jones turning 80 in October, he is desperate to end the Cowboys’ 26-season Super Bowl drought, increasing the pressure on McCarthy.
McCarthy became the ninth head coach in team history when he signed a five-year contract on January 8, 2020.
His first year as the head coach was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented teams from hosting offseason programs, and shortened training camp. To make matters worse, starting quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the fifth game of the season, diminishing the team’s chances of success.
Dallas would finish 6-10 in McCarthy’s first season in charge, giving him a record of 18-15 over his first two seasons. McCarthy replaced Jason Garrett, who went 8-8 in each of his first three seasons as the Cowboys’ head coach.
Garrett would remain the head man in Dallas for nine full seasons before Jones decided to make a coaching change.
Despite the awkwardness that has followed the San Francisco playoff loss, Jones and his son and executive vice president Stephen Jones have defended McCarthy on various occasions this offseason.
“I just think unfortunately when you’re a coach, quarterback or player for the Cowboys, you’re going to get a lot of attention, and sometimes it’s not all going to be positive,” Stephen Jones said from the NFL combine in February. “Jerry and I know that better than anybody … but we feel good about Mike.”
“One, we went 12-5. Most people consider that a success,” Stephen Jones said. “It’s not around here because we want to win a championship. I think his track record speaks for [itself]. He’s won a Super Bowl, been to championship games. I love the way his leadership style is. I think he’s got a great pulse for our football team and just feel like he’s the right guy for us.”