Despite Jerry Jones’ repeated insistence that Mike McCarthy’s job was safe, rampant speculation followed the Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers, particularly with the availability of Sean Payton.
Following his third season and back-to-back 12-5 campaigns, McCarthy relayed the message from Jones that he wants the coach to be around as long as Tom Landry was in Dallas.
“As far as my relationship with Jerry … we are in an excellent spot. The partnership that we have, he’s excited about,” McCarthy said Thursday, via Tyler Dragon of USA Today. “He told me a number of times this week that he wants me to coach here as long as coach (Tom) Landry did. I said, ‘OK, that’s a long time.’ I feel really good about our relationship. I think our ability to discuss and disagree, we do a good job at that. I think that’s important.”
It’s interesting that Jones chooses Landry to compare his head coaches — he also did so with Jason Garrett — given it was Jones who fired Landry, ending his 29-year run with the Cowboys.
The 59-year-old McCarthy would need to coach the Cowboys until he was 85 to match Landry’s run. Only two of the eight coaches Jones has hired since taking over America’s Team lasted longer than four seasons (Jimmy Johnson, Jason Garrett), which underscores the hyperbole in any McCarthy-Landry comparison.
With McCarthy announcing changes to his staff and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returning to Dallas, the head coach’s job appears safe for another season. McCarthy might not have lost his job, but that won’t take him off the hot seat until he brings a Lombardi Trophy back to Dallas.