This is why the Dallas Cowboys brought Mike McCarthy back this season

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Based on how things ended, the statements made, and the options explored, the Dallas Cowboys don’t seem to be exactly thrilled with the job Mike McCarthy is doing in Dallas.

Their 12-win season ended with a first round playoff loss at home. Players underachieved and the coaching staff didn’t do much to offer help. Cowboys Nation was up in arms about the idea of bringing back the same coaching staff that failed them in 2021. With one of the best rosters in the NFL, more was expected of this team in 2021, and more will be expected from them in 2022.

When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones flirted with the idea of Sean Payton and then publicly discussed Dan Quinn one day being a head coach of the Cowboys, it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of his current head coach Mike McCarthy.

So if the Dallas Cowboys are so dissatisfied with Mike McCarthy, why didn’t they just fire him?

Because they want to make a coaching change in 2023.

The Dallas Cowboys want a coaching change. They NEED a coaching change. As discussed before, Mike McCarthy doesn’t bring much to the table these days. He’s hands-off, at best, and plainly negligent, most likely. He drives the bus but doesn’t add value – he said as much when he threw Kellen Moore under said bus just last month.

The Cowboys need a head coach but they just don’t know who exactly. That’s why they’re stalling for time right now and letting Mike McCarthy lame duck his way through the 2022 season while they figure it out.

Sean Payton is the obvious top choice. Regarded as one of the top minds in the NFL, Payton is a dream scenario for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Unlike McCarthy, he hasn’t been mailing it the past decade and the things he was able to accomplish in the wake of injuries and retirements has been spectacular.

McCarthy apologists will point to their similar looking resumes and tools and think that means they are somehow on the same tier, but anyone who’s been paying attention knows Payton is the brilliant mind and McCarthy is just along for the ride.

Mike McCarthy isn’t coming back this season because the Dallas Cowboys think he’s the best man for the job. They’re just using him as a space holder until they can get someone they really want

Dan Quinn is another viable option for 2023. He was a hot commodity this year and if his defense performs well again in 2022, he’ll be a hot commodity again next winter. While it’s not advisable to hire a defensive coach as your head coach, it’s not taboo either as long as your coach can add value across the board. Quinn’s leadership ability makes him an exception to that rule and keeps his name firmly in the conversation for Cowboys head coach next year.

Then we have Kellen Moore. While “boy genius” has fallen out of favor as of late, he’s still an extremely young coach with a very bright future. He struggled beating shells last season when his pass protection dissolved and he had to lean on an ineffective running game to make up for it. While inexcusable, it’s understandable, and he has an entire offseason to figure out how to fix the O-line and/or beat shell coverages when under duress.

Dallas Cowboys: keeping the powder dry

I firmly believe Sean Payton is Option 1 (and my odds-on favorite to be the Dallas Cowboys HC at this time next next year). He’s taking a year off of coaching to pursue TV opportunities. Now, it’s possible he falls in love with TV and doesn’t come back, so everyone must be prepared for that. But he’s clearly the top target at this point.

Then there’s Options 2 and 3. If Payton doesn’t come back (or goes elsewhere), the Dallas Cowboys can pick between Moore or Quinn. This season will be very telling about Moore’s future. He could be the hottest name on the market if he corrects course (which I think will happen) or he could be the scapegoat.

If not Moore, Quinn is also an option. As mentioned before, DCs aren’t as coveted because defensive performance is notoriously unstable year to year. Since the turn of the century, offense is the most stable way to win football games these days, so most teams target offense over defense.

There are also candidates we haven’t even considered yet – Coaches that will rise up in 2022 and become viable options for Dallas.

Something Mark Cuban has famously said in the past, in regards to saving up for a big purchase later, is “keeping the powder dry.” That’s what the Dallas Cowboys appear to be doing at head coach this year. They aren’t running out and investing in a slight upgrade this year, but they are standing pat and waiting to invest next season when they can get someone they really want.

Mike McCarthy isn’t coming back this season because the Dallas Cowboys think he’s the best man for the job. They’re just using him as a space holder until they can get someone they really want (Sean Payton).

Even if Payton doesn’t happen, they have candidates waiting in the wings ready to take over the world’s most valuable franchise. Frankly, I don’t even think Mike McCarthy is a top-3 candidate to coach the Dallas Cowboys in 2023…

Must Read. Yes, Sean Payton is a much better coach than Mike McCarthy. light

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This is a very strange situation we have right here but there is a method to the Jerry’s madness and that’s all about getting the right head coach in 2023.

  • Published on 02/16/2022 at 13:58 PM
  • Last updated at 02/17/2022 at 12:59 PM