Earlier this week, Cowboys owner and G.M. Jerry Jones shut down any talk of coach Mike McCarthy’s job status hinging on beating the Buccaneers on Monday night. On Friday, quarterback Dak Prescott added his two cents.
Via Jori Epstein of YahooSports.com, Prescott called the talk of McCarthy being in trouble “comical, in a sense.”
“Back-to-back 12 win [seasons] in y’all tell me how long and we’re talking about a guy’s job in jeopardy?” Prescott said. “That just shows you when you play for this organization what comes with it.”
He’s right. But it’s also a byproduct of Sean Payton being available. Four years ago, Jones tried to hire Payton. With Payton now drawing attention from multiple teams after a year off (Broncos, Cardinals, Texans), if Jones is ever going to hire Payton, this may be Jerry’s last and best chance.
The Cowboys are nevertheless trying to shut out all noise that would contradict the notion that McCarthy is safe.
“That’s why it’s important to create these walls around us, create this safe place in our locker room,” Prescott said. “Understanding what matters is the men that go out there and get in between the lines and put the work in throughout the week for us to go out and win.”
That’s what matters until the season ends. At that point, however, people not in the locker room have decisions to make. And the decision wouldn’t be simply to move on from McCarthy. it would be, if it happens, to upgrade from McCarthy to Payton.
Remember that. Jones wouldn’t be firing McCarthy in order to venture into a coaching search that will lead who knows where. Jones would be deliberately swapping out McCarthy for Payton.