Mike McCarthy is in, now that Jason Garrett is out as the head coach for the Dallas Cowboys. The former Green Bay Packers boss landed the gig less than a day after Garrett was shown the door by team owner and general manager, Jerry Jones.
McCarthy signed a five-year deal with the Cowboys, according to sources cited in multiple media reports.
Cowboys Finally Lose Patience with Garrett
Jason Garrett became the Cowboys’ head coach during the 2010 season. Since then, he compiled an 85-67 record, making the playoffs three times, and suffering just one losing season.
He led the Cowboys to just two playoff wins during his run, and rumors that Jones might be ready to fire him had been mounting for years. Oddsmakers thought Garrett was likely to be ousted during the 2018 season, but Jones kept him in charge and was rewarded with a 10-6 record that led to a first-round playoff win.
The 2019 season didn’t go as well. The last straw came when the team finished the season with an uninspiring 8-8 record, despite having what was widely seen as a highly talented roster. After getting off to a 3-0 start, Garrett couldn’t manage to win the weak NFC East division, with a Week 16 loss at Philadelphia ultimately being the difference that handed the title to the Eagles.
McCarthy Comes Back After a Year Away
McCarthy spent 13 years in Green Bay where he won a Super Bowl with the Packers while compiling a 125-77-2 regular-season record. He was released by the Packers at the end of the 2018 season after the team limped to a 6-9-1 record, and missed the playoffs.
While McCarthy interviewed for a handful of jobs before the 2019 season, including with the New York Jets, he ultimately decided to sit out a year to prepare for a new round of opportunities.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that McCarthy spent Saturday night at the home of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Before that, he had conversations with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, and Carolina Panthers, all of whom are in the market for a new coach.
The only other coach that was interviewed for the position was Marvin Lewis, who led the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 through 2018.
Soon after McCarthy’s hiring went public, the NFL Network reported that New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan would be taking over as the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. Nolan has a long history as a defensive coordinator, working for several other franchises throughout his career, including with the Atlanta Falcons from 2012 to 2014.
Nolan has history with McCarthy as well. He served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, and had McCarthy on staff as his offensive coordinator until the Packers hired him away to be their own head coach.
There’s less certainly over what will happen on the offensive side of the staff, though NFL.com reported that McCarthy appears open to keeping offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
That decision might be smart for the Cowboys. The 31-year-old Moore is considered one of the more talented young offensive coordinators in the NFL. After playing with Dallas from 2015 to 2017, he spent one year as the team’s quarterbacks coach before rising to the coordinator level.