Jimmy Johnson not surprised Cowboys stuck with Mike McCarthy

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers
Getty Images

The Cowboys haven’t made the NFC Championship Game since 1995, which was the last of the franchise’s five Super Bowls. Dallas has had six head coaches since Jimmy Johnson, but Mike McCarthy will get a fourth season despite one playoff victory in three years.

Sean Payton, who has made no secret of his desire to one day coach the Cowboys, and owner Jerry Jones may have missed their best, last opportunity to reunite.

Payton took the head coaching job with the Broncos, taking him off the market for a few years at least.

The Cowboys missed out on Payton by a year when the Saints hired him in 2006, and Bill Parcells retired a year later. They may have missed out on Payton by a year again, depending on how the Cowboys fare in 2023 with McCarthy on the hot seat.

The Cowboys instead parted ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. McCarthy will take over play-calling duties, something he did in his career as the Packers’ head coach.

Johnson, now a studio analyst for Fox, wasn’t surprised that Jones didn’t make a move at head coach this offseason after McCarthy won 12 games a second consecutive regular season.

“When you look at the numbers, Mike McCarthy and Sean’s numbers are very similar,” Johnson said. “I think both are outstanding football coaches, and so it could be a good fit with Mike calling the plays and taking over the offense. But when you just compare the two, it’s hard to pick, because they’re both outstanding.”

Still, the Cowboys are only 5-12 in the postseason since their last championship, including 1-2 with two losses to the 49ers the past two years.

“Everybody’s going to gauge a team on what you do in the playoffs,” Johnson said. “That’s what’s been frustrating [for the Cowboys]. The thing about it is a lot of times during the regular season you can beat up on teams because you’re more talented than they are. Talent alone will win those games, but once you get in the playoffs, you’re playing teams just as talented as you are. There’s a very small margin of error — turnovers, sacks, negative plays, how good of defense you’re playing, explosive plays — and sometimes you’ve got to go against the percentages in the playoffs. If you just play it by the book in the playoffs and that team is as talented as you are, they’re going to beat you. The playoffs are a completely different world than playing in the regular season.”

12 responses to “Jimmy Johnson not surprised Cowboys stuck with Mike McCarthy

  1. What exactly has Payton won that McCarthy hasn’t? Who has been to the playoffs more? Who has been to more Conference title games? The shine might come off Payton real quick when the team can’t improve because they have no draft picks and are capped strapped paying a QB and LT like they are franchise players and are probably below average.

  2. This is such a stupid public narrative. Mike McCarthy has more accolades and has been proven a better overall coach then Sean Payton. He has more wins, he’s been more successful. It’s not like having Drew Brees is chopped meat.. Aaron Rodgers is a fantastic talent.. but this is Payton vs Brady conversation.. be glad to have either. Yet McCarthy has more playoffs, more wins… but yet he isn’t as good… I just don’t get it…

  3. Barry Switzer won the last super bowl for Jerry Jones. He out-coached everyone in the playoffs, just like Jimmy said. McCarthy is as good a coach as Payton, if not better. Payton has been one of the most under-achieving coaches over the last 11 years, going less than .500 in the playoffs, and not a single super bowl appearance during that time, even though he had Drew Brees, and was often favored. Totally getting out-coached, just like Jimmy Says.

  4. Jerry keeping Jimmy out of the Ring of Honor is a joke.

    I hope Jerry goes to his grave never even sniffing another SB.

  5. Other than getting lucky with the JJ hire, Jerry has no idea how to pick a coach.
    27 years since their last NFC championship game…and counting.

  6. Hilarious that the media is looking for MM’s head after back to back 12 win seasons yet feel the Flores firing (after compiling a 24-25 record) was just a tragedy worthy of litigation.

  7. Stuck with him is exactly what they are…

    “Jimmy Johnson not surprised Cowboys stuck with Mike McCarthy”

  8. Numbers may be the same between McCarthy and Payton but what most people are missing is their coaching approaches are entirely different. Payton is a disciple of Parcells who believes in being very detailed to the core and meticulous. The Cowboys under McCarthy watch were at first undisciplined with the penalties then the constant regression of Dak with the mistakes that never seemed to get corrected. Payton would’ve went over those issues again and again during the season until Dak showed improvement whereas McCarthy waits to get it addressed and corrected—in the offseason

  9. Both coaches won Super bowls early in their HC career, neither has been able to sniff the Superbowl since then. Both are the play callers and pretty much looks like when they get to the playoffs they simply have been figured out (a decade plus of tendencies is easy coaching even for an average DC, the QB’s ability to adlib got wins) and easily get out-coached. Both coaches are good for the team that just want to be good/mediocre get to playoffs, but neither has shown for the past decade or so they can actually coach a team to the Superbowl and then actually win it. Sean is probably good enough to get the Broncos to about 500 but still third in the AFC West, McCarthy’s and his mistakes as a head coach with lack of details and not being prepared have probably gotten the Cowboys about as far as he can take him, should have changed to the DC now instead of mid-season.

  10. Why people keep thinking someone who has gone 12 – 5 the last two years is on the hot seat is stupid. Mccarthy is overall a better coach than Payton in reality and Anyone who thought Jones would go after Payton just does not pay attention. MM deserves to be right were he is until he does not.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.