Could Jerry Jones be plotting an upgrade over Mike McCarthy?

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Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said plenty of things on Friday, as he always does twice per week on 105.3 The Fans. Tucked within the latest oversized word salad are a few ingredients on which current head coach Mike McCarthy potentially would choke.

Jones made it very clear he’s not happy with the notion of having issues to figure out after a one-and-done playoff loss, that those things should be addressed and fixed early in the year.

“I don’t want to wait until we’re sitting here with no season left to address these things we’re doing or not doing,” Jones said. “And so all of that is in the mix here and a part of what I do. But that’s the way I do, as you know, the ultimate decision on these coaches or anywhere around here is what do I have to make? And, so, the guy that you got to be — you don’t got to be — the toughest on should be the one in the mirror. He’s the one that has the ultimate responsibility and consequently I get to operate at that guy’s timeline and that guy’s display of information. And I’m not trying to be anywhere. It’s just not in our best interest to talk about where we are with members of the staff right now. We got 29 coaches, almost three coaches for almost every person on the field. So, I got a lot to think about with regards to these coaches. I got a lot regarding these scouts. I got a lot regarding various aspects of the organization.”

Given the way the season ended — with a poorly coached and/or executed quarterback draw that failed to leave any time on the clock — Jones surely is referring to that play. That moment. The sudden and abrupt end to a season of promise, all because of a lack of detail in the design, coaching, and/or execution of the play.

Jones also realizes that there may be limitations to the human beings to whom he has entrusted his team, and that it’s possible that other human beings may be better suited to deliver the championship Jones so badly covets. (Amazingly, the Cowboys haven’t even played for the opportunity to get to the Super Bowl since 1995.)

“I see a lot of names, a lot of great names, a lot of names from colleges, a lot of great names,” Jones said. “I see them coming through. I see a lot of great names at various duties in the NFL come and go over the last 30 years. I haven’t seen but a couple of them that might have a straight shot into what’s up above and that’s [Bill] Belichick there in New England. His record has been unbelievable. But aside from that I’ll be very candid with you. I see human beings, human frailities, human work ethic, human excelling, and coming up with a way to go. Bottom line is, yes, I’m very, very, very frustrated and upset that we — you can call it COVID. You can call it anything. But we have used up some very talented players over the last few years.”

It’s not clear what Jones is getting at (not that it usually is). But it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether he’s considering whether he can get someone better than McCarthy before initiating the process of parting ways with him. Really, why release the bird in the hand until knowing that the two in the bush can be secured?

That’s hardly unprecedented as NFL hiring goes. Four years ago, Raiders owner Mark Davis wouldn’t have fired Jack Del Rio unless Davis knew he was getting Jon Gruden. Also, and as mentioned earlier in the day, Jones has previously tried to pry Sean Payton away from the Saints. When Jones couldn’t (the full story is documented in Playmakers), he didn’t fire Jason Garrett. If Jones could have pulled it off, Garrett would have been gone, a search would have happened, and then a deal would have been reached between the Saints and Cowboys for compensation, along with a deal between the Cowboys and Payton to take over.

So here’s the bottom line. Just because Jones hasn’t fired McCarthy doesn’t mean Jones won’t. It definitely doesn’t mean Jones isn’t thinking about it. From Jones’s perspective, McCarthy getting fired wouldn’t be the beginning of the process, but something far closer to the beginning of the end.

None of this means McCarthy is out or will be out. It’s just a recognition of the reality that Jones wouldn’t part ways with McCarthy unless Jones knows he’ll end up with a significant upgrade. The question is whether he’s looking for that upgrade.

The question plenty of Cowboys fans are asking is why wouldn’t he be?

38 responses to “Could Jerry Jones be plotting an upgrade over Mike McCarthy?

  1. McCarthy will still be here next season. That’s what Jerry does. But Zimmer will also be there as DC and assistant HC.

  2. Jerry Jones will not be satisfied until he is owner, GM, and head coach of the Cowboys. After all, if George Halas could do it …..

  3. Jerry only wants a “yes man” that will agree to be subordinate to Jerry. No decent coach will want that.

  4. A true alpha HC that could actually win the big games that Jerry is talking about won’t work for him. He stepped aside a little for Parcells to get the stadium built but I don’t see him doing that again because Jerry said he didn’t have “any fun” when he was just an owner and Jimmy was winning SBs and getting all the credit.

  5. First of all, it wouldn’t be hard to get an upgrade to McCarthy. There’s a reason nobody else wanted him. However, what good coach is going to go there while Jerruh is constantly interfering? What makes matters even worse–what, they can get worse?–is the salary cap. They are in big trouble with the cap in the next few years. That’s what happens when you give an average QB $40M/yr. Nobody is going to Dallas because of the guy calling all the shots. That would be Jerruh.

  6. I definitely agree Payton is in play for the Cowboys, no matter the cost. Payton has been in New Orleans over 10 years, a long time, his offense is now without a real QB, he’s familiar with Jerry, and he’s won a Super Bowl and would be a tremendous upgrade over McCarthy.

  7. He won’t get it. Nobody high profile guy wants to be a HC without getting HC duties.

  8. Reading Jerrah’s quotes, I can’t make out a damn thing he’s attempting to express. If you had just put those back-to-back without anything else, I wouldn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.

  9. Plotting? I presume the billionaire version of the game clue is going on in Jerryland right now. McCarthy, on the football field with the wrench.

  10. The real problem is the salary cap and the amount of coin wrapped up in just a couple of players. A new coach is going to suffer with that for a few years.

  11. 2 1st 2 2nds and or Collins and Lamb. You want Payton? You’re gonna pay for him.

  12. This is the problem with the Cowboys, they always blame the coach or the refs, or both for their failures. They never blame the players. Dak, Zeke, Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, are all grown men and professionals, and they all came out flat, non-competing, not tough, but they blame the coach. Until players are held accountable, you will always get this uneven inconsistent performance.

  13. So when the owner who exerts more influence over the running of the football team than any owner is continually plotting behind the backs of his head coaches, and then wonders why the players don’t listen to the head coach.

  14. Is Jerry getting tips from the Ford Family in Detroit ??
    Hire a head coach to get you out of the losing side,… and that’s not good enough ?? Be careful what you wish for Jerry.

  15. Jerry always seems to be plotting, but it never results in anything. Three playoff wins in 25 years.

  16. I think McCarthy should be gone . He is not a good coach.
    He sold Jerry a bill of goods when he talked about his yearlong
    Absence from coaching. How he studied analytics and looked into
    changing his coaching methods. That’s a bunch of BS.
    Despite the above Jerry has no one to blame but himself.
    He only interviewed McCarthy.
    The Cowboys have made too many mistakes with their timing of
    extending their own draft picks. Lawrence should have been signed after
    3 years. Prescott took 3 years to sign costing millions. Amari Cooper
    is over paid …he also was signed two seasons late. He is talented but
    doesn’t show up in physical games.
    A team needs to have a handle on one’s own talent and move to
    sign with a year left on a players contract ….usually in training camp before
    the players last contract year. Not signing Cooper and Prescott led to the
    a horrible decision to sign Jaylon Smith based upon one year of slightly
    above average football.
    A team has to know what they have in a player talent wise by the third year.
    If the Cowboys knew Prescott was their future why did it take so long to
    sign him? Make the deal. Now they need to rebuild an offensive line and
    cannot invest in a defense that was really starting to grow with good young talent.
    Jerry finally found an outstanding Defensive Coordinator. After mistakes with
    Kiffen, Marinelli ( let’s pick Taco over Watt) then Nolan, perhaps the worst of all.
    I will give Jerry a break on Nolan …that was McCarthy’s pick and is indicative of
    proof that McCarthy needs to go now.

  17. The Cowboys issue isn’t the Salary Cap. It isn’t the players. It isn’t the video board. It isn’t the play calls. It isn’t the locker room catering. It’s Jerry. It’s the only thing that won’t change.

  18. Like it’ll matter.
    Prescott is not a championship QB.
    Right, so Prescott is so much worse than Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler, and Doug Williams?

  19. I think Jerrah’s weighing his coaching options and if he thinks he can get someone better…

  20. When Jerrah talks about using players up- translation- “I’ve drafted some awesome players and my coaches have wasted their talent”- lol

  21. players play like the owner owns, the GM manages and the HC coaches;

    if all three are essentially the same guy, the result is obvious;

    just as it’s been for over 20 years;

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