Cowboys owner Jerry Jones noncommittal on Mike McCarthy: ‘A lot to think about regarding these coaches’ - Chase Goodbread, ESPN
Jerry Jones does not seem happy…
Less than a week after a disappointing playoff exit for the Dallas Cowboys, club owner Jerry Jones isn’t rubber-stamping the return of coach Mike McCarthy just yet.
The Cowboys’ 12-5 regular season and NFC East title were laid to waste last weekend in a stinging home loss to the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17, that made for a very brief postseason for a collection of talent with higher potential and aspirations. It’s apparently not sitting well with the team’s outspoken owner.
“I’ve got a lot to think about regarding these coaches,” Jones said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
While making it clear he’s unhappy with the performance of the coaching staff, Jones also said he wouldn’t delve into specifics about his conversations with McCarthy or anyone else about the head coach’s future.
“I won’t get in to any conversations that I’ve had with anybody relative to anything to do with staff,” Jones said.
Jones remarks stand somewhat in contrast to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones’ portrayal of McCarthy’s status. Jerry’s son told 103.5 The Fan on Monday that he is very confident that McCarthy will coach the team in 2022. McCarthy himself said on Wednesday that his conversations with Jones since the loss have been very positive.
The team was good enough to win. but blew their playoff game.
“If I thought changing out men at any level would improve us, I would change it out,” Jones said. “I’ve looked around. I see a lot of names, a lot of great names, a lot of names from colleges, a lot of great names. I see them coming through. I see a lot of great names at various duties in the NFL come and go over the last 30 years. I haven’t seen but a couple of them that might have a straight shot into what’s up above.
“Bottom line is, yes, I’m very, very, very frustrated and upset that we — you can call it COVID. You can call it anything. But we have used up some very talented players over the last few years.”
While his frustration was evident, Jones still gave a vote of confidence for his quarterback, stating he still believes Dak Prescott has the talent and ability to win a Super Bowl.
“Yes, I sure do,” Jones said. “He has shown every time he’s ever gotten in a position, he’s shown that he is a winner in football. He’s shown that every time he’s ever had the chance to. And, as you well know, especially at that position, it’s hard to pinpoint the skill that makes it happen. It’s hard to pinpoint that. But Dak Prescott has the skill to make it happen.”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says ‘pet peeve’ is fixing problems after season is over - Todd Archer, ESPN
That penalties thing is a big deal that has to absolutely fix.
McCarthy on Wednesday said penalties are the biggest issue that the Cowboys have to clear up. The team led the NFL in penalties in the regular season and was flagged 14 times for 89 yards against San Francisco.
“Now let me be real clear, one of the pet peeves I have is that I don’t like this, ‘Well, we’ve got to work on this in the offseason. We’ve got to work on this.’ I don’t go for that,” Jones said Friday, without specifying McCarthy’s evaluation of the team’s penalty problem. “I want those things recognized and addressed after we play Tampa after the first game or after we play the sixth game. I don’t want to wait until we’re sitting here with no season left to address these things we’re doing or not doing.
“So all of that is in the mix here and a part of what I do. ... The ultimate decision on these coaches and anywhere around here is one that I have to make, so the guy that you’re the toughest on should be the one in the mirror. He’s the one that has the ultimate responsibility, and consequently, I get to operate at that guy’s timeline.”
We’d all like to know the answer to why Tony Pollard got six touches.
Tony Pollard only had six touches on offense in the playoff loss to San Francisco (four runs, two targets in the passing game). Why was he used so little in a game where the offense definitely could have used a spark? — RANDY CHILDS / NORTH GRAFTON, MA
Nick: I don’t have a great answer for that. Obviously, Pollard didn’t do a lot with those four touches, but as we saw in the New Orleans game, if you keep giving him the ball, sooner or later he can break it for a big play. But overall, the offense just never got in any rhythm. I’m sure there were a handful of players who thought they could’ve gotten more touches on Sunday. Pollard is a weapon but he can help himself by being a little more well-rounded in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker. I think it’s the OC’s job this offseason to figure out a way to get him even more involved this year, even if that means playing him alongside Zeke.
Rob: It’s a good question, and I don’t know for sure why, other than it’s probably due in part to Ezekiel Elliott’s skills as a pass blocker. Even then, we’ve seen some two-back sets with Elliott and Pollard in previous games, so why not that element? Definitely credit to Zeke for playing through his PCL injury for the vast majority of the season, and he did seem more explosive late in the year. But Pollard’s workload this season (roughly 30% of the snaps, 130 carries) was probably less than I expected, especially because Elliott dealt with that injury since Week 4.
Is it even possible the Cowboys might part ways with DeMarcus Lawrence?
But now with all of Lawrence’s $65 million in guaranteed money off the financial ledger, thanks to the structure of the deal, his time with the Cowboys might come to an end.
In 2022 he’s scheduled to make $19 million in base salary — a good chunk of money for a man once considered the best pass rusher on this team. That title now goes to linebacker Micah Parsons, who will enter Year 2 with increased expectations.
Lawrence enters the offseason having played in just seven games, missing 10 with a broken toe. He’s still a dangerous player on defense, but is the price worth keeping him around?
“I don’t ever want to put limits on myself or say when or what not,” Lawrence said. “If the Lord blesses me with another opportunity, I’ll be here. If not, so be it. But at the end of the day, I appreciate what Cowboys Nation did for me.”
If the Cowboys make Lawrence a post-June 1 cut, they save $19 million with $8 million in dead money on the books for 2022. There’s a lot $19 million could be used for.
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