Will Jerry Jones fire Mike McCarthy during season?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has exercised patience with his coaches for the most part but he's made an in-season move before. Could it happen with Mike McCarthy?
Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy
Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

When searching for a replacement for Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys cast one of the shortest nets in NFL history. Looking for their new head coach, team owner Jerry Jones had a list of qualifications that led to them essentially looking at Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis.

McCarthy was hired following a slumber party with Jones, and it's gone about as everyone outside the organization expected. The Cowboys have had great success during the regular season, followed by complete duds in the playoffs.

In all, McCarthy is 42-25 and on the heels of three straight 12-win seasons. In the playoffs, however, he's 1-3, with their latest loss being at home against McCarthy's old team, the Green Bay Packers.

In the final season of his original five-year deal, McCarthy is a lame-duck coach with no power. That's led to some frustration on his part since he feels undermined by Jones.

MORE: Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy: Dak Prescott Having 'Best Offseason Program We've Ever Had

Jones, however, might feel differently. He's never been shy about his belief that he knows best, and he feels McCarthy was the right hire to get this team over the hump and back to the Super Bowl. With that not happening, there's been endless speculation that Bill Belichick could replace McCarthy.

While Belichick and Jones didn't get together this season, the possibility they could partner up in 2025 is still on the table and there's reportedly mutual interest. But will Jones remain patient that long if McCarthy and the Cowboys struggle in 2025?

It's not the norm for Jones to make a coaching move in-season, only doing so once in his career. In 2010, he pulled the trigger on Wade Phillips and replaced him with Jason Garrett, the young offensive coordinator Jones believed could be his Tom Landry.

Garrett wound up giving them nine-and-a-half years of frustration before McCarthy came in. With very little change in the organizational culture, Jones is still pointing at everyone but Jones. But that doesn't mean McCarthy will be gone before 2024 is out.

The main difference here is the lack of an in-house replacement. As much as Jones admires Belichick, he's not hiring him in October or November. He's also not going to risk promoting anyone who could win the staff over and get in the way of his dream scenario.

That's why the lack of a young option handpicked by Jones — such as Garrett, who was hired before Wade Phillips — means there are only two ways this ends. One is with McCarthy finally getting them into the NFC Championship Game and not losing in mind-blowing fashion. Or with Jerry Jones handing the keys to what will be a 73-year-old Bill Belichick.

Either way, it should at least be entertaining.

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Randy Gurzi


Arizona State grad