Mike McCarthy is fast becoming the Dallas Cowboys’ best option

Of all the head coaching candidates the Dallas Cowboys have spoken to, Mike McCarthy seems to be the best option. Here’s why…

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t exactly lining up a murder’s row of head coaching candidates thus far. Just a couple weeks removed from Bill Belichick and Sean Payton fantasies, Cowboys Nation is finding themselves collectively depressed one week into the offseason.

But of the coaches the Dallas Cowboys have been rumored to be meeting with, one coach stands out above the rest – Mike McCarthy.

I’m not going to try to spin this into an ideal scenario. Just early this morning I talked about Jerry Jones’ rumored candidates as a “nightmare”. When your list is headlined by the likes of Marvin Lewis and Jeff Fisher, “nightmare” is about all that comes to mind. Heck, why don’t we include Lane Kiffin while we’re at it.

But if you look at them individually, Mike McCarthy is a guy who may not be all that bad.

The Background

Mike McCarthy was fired last offseason from the Green Bay post he’d held for the past 13 seasons. The breakup was a bad one. He and the notoriously unlikeable Aaron Rodgers  butted heads and the franchise not-so-surprisingly picked their future Hall of Famer over their coach.

The indication was the offense went stale after so many years and it was seen as nothing short of a travesty a QB the caliber of Rodgers’ only had one ring. To make matters worse, a legitimate case could be made the Cowboys-killing QB had even regressed as a passer under McCarthy.

So for better or for worse, McCarthy was the scapegoat. And even though Rodgers still looks generally pedestrian this season, the team is 13-3 and positioned for a Super Bowl run. So what makes McCarthy a decent option, you ask?

The Rebirth

Mike McCarthy is in the midst of an image makeover. He knows how bad he took it on the chin last winter and he’s not going to let that narrative stick. Recently, he hosted Peter King for a generic pseudo-job interview. In it, McCarthy came off as smart, open-mined, adaptable, and overall improved.

He spoke of his experience winning a Super Bowl and seemed legitimately confident he could do it again. When asked what he’d do differently in his next stint, he mentioned running multiples and more pre-snap motion than before (something the analytics community has been screaming for quite a while now).

Speaking of analytics, he discussed how much more he embraces it these days and even mentioned PFF (Pro Football Focus) as a resource he’s been using. He praised aggressiveness in coaches this season and spoke of how he’s tracking trends across the league.

If he’s really the man he’s painting himself to be, he’s likely the best possible option the Dallas Cowboys are looking at. When asked what he was looking for in a team, he pointed to having a good relationship with the GM and having a young and promising QB to develop. Dak certainly checks one box and the fact that he and Jerry extended their meeting into a second day seems to check that pesky GM box.

Look, I’m not trying to sell everyone on the greatness of Mike McCarthy. I’m simply saying he’s the best of the lot. And if he really is who he says he is, he may even be a really good coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

If forced to choose between him or Marvin Lewis, Jeff Fisher, Lincoln Riley, or even Urban Meyer  – I’m going Mike McCarthy and not looking back. I’d still welcome Eric Bieniemy or Bill Belichick above everyone else, but they don’t seem like real options right now. Of the options being considered, McCarthy seems to have the most potential for success.