FRISCO - Amid rumors and supposed “sources,” is Dallas Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy’s job safe?
“Absolutely,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said on Monday, a day after Dallas’ disappointing home playoff loss to the 49ers, offering ownership’s public show of support. “Very confident.”
Cowboys bosses Jerry Jones and McCarthy agree that this playoff loss on Sunday, the favorites falling to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in maddening fashion at AT&T Stadium, represents underachievement.
Do they also agree that it means coach McCarthy should be on the hot seat?
Following the loss, questions concerning the future of McCarthy bubbled to the surface.
“I don’t even want to discuss anything like that at this particular time,” said Jones. “That’s not on the table. The game speaks for itself.”
Fine. But "not wanting to discuss it'' is not an endorsement. And "that's not on the table'' can be referring to the media question, or the firing of the second-year coach.
McCarthy handled the questions - as Stephen did in his Monday 105.3 The Fan visit - with more clarity.
“I don’t have any concerns," McCarthy says of his job future. "I’m proud to be standing here today. I’m proud of my football team.''
McCarthy, a Super Bowl winner from his Green Bay days, has been criticized for game management on the field, but he did lead the Cowboys to a 12-5 overall record and a division title this season, with an NFL-leading offense and a defense that was among the league's top-playmaking units.
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Tom Landry is not walking through that door. Is Bill Belichick? Is Sean Payton?
A McCarthy fan can argue that he helped assemble a powerful roster and a powerful coaching staff featuring two coordinators (Dan Quinn on defense, Kellen Moore on offense) that will be hot head-coach candidates.
A non-McCarthy person could say that he had a rare opportunity, given the talent assembled ... and blew it.
An unbiased view: If Moore or Quinn has some magical answer? It's too bad they didn't offer it up on Sunday. Which is why the idea, before Sunday, seemed "asinine.''
And what does Jerry Jones - an avid McCarthy supporter, at least before Sunday night - say?
“When you get this combination of players together,'' Jerry said, "you need to have success.''
His remarks suggest that at the very least, a cooling-off period was mandated. And a day later? Stephen is announcing - amid overall dissatisfaction and “sources” who miraculously came oozing out of the woodwork for a moment - that everything is “cool” enough.
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