These last few months have certainly been interesting for Mike McCarthy. After leading his Dallas Cowboys to an NFC East title with some impressive football played along the way, McCarthy’s team floundered in their first playoff game.
But we are “only” two seasons into The McCarthy Project™️ and given the fact that this team’s franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott was significantly injured in October of the first one you would think that McCarthy would have a few people ready to see what year three brings. As we all know though the grass in life tends to be greener on the proverbial other side and right now former New Orleans Coach Sean Payton looks pretty green from where a lot of people are sitting.
Speculation about your job isn’t exactly a new thing if you sit atop the Dallas Cowboys coaching ranks. If there is one person who knows that well it is the head coach who preceded McCarthy in Jason Garrett.
Jason Garrett has advice for Mike McCarthy and all of the rumors surrounding his job
It was shortly after the season ended that Mike McCarthy took some of the public matters of his job into his own hands when he appeared on The Rich Eisen Show and spoke about the rumors at the time that not only involved Sean Payton but McCarthy’s defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn and how they could both be candidates to replace him if and when the Cowboys disappoint this season.
As noted this sort of comes with the territory when you hold a visible position for this franchise (just ask Dak Prescott). Recently the franchise’s former head coach in Jason Garrett (and now Sunday Night Football studio analyst) was also on Rich Eisen’s show and was asked what his advice to McCarthy would be amid all of this speculation (you can listen to the whole interview right here).
Rich Eisen: “So what advice would you give Mike McCarthy, Jason Garrett, having been in that position yourself for as long as you were?”
Jason Garrett: “Well I think the biggest thing for any head coach and really for any player in the NFL, is really just focus on yourself and what you need to do to be your best. And I know that’s a cliche, and everyone thinks oh blah it’s coach speak and all of that, but it’s so true. And it’s so true certainly in a place like Dallas.”
“There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of people who make their living speculating about things. And digging things up. And stirring things up. That’s just the world that we live in. The days of Walter Cronkite telling you the news as it is, you know, six o’clock every weekday evening. Those are long gone. It’s 24 hour news cycles and we’re trying to stir the pot.”
“And so when you’re in those roles you have to just really focus on what you need to do to be your best. And this was a theme that we tried to use with all of our players through the years. Players getting into Twitter wars and all of this kind of stuff. It’s like hey let’s just lock in on what we need to do each day to be our best. And when you’re preaching that message to your team sometimes you’ve got to preach it to yourself. And you’ve got to say hey everything that I’m trying to share with these guys to help them individually be their best, help our team be its best, you know sometimes you’ve got to say, hey, I’ve got to remind myself of those things.”
“And not that you think about it a lot, but you’re asked about it a lot. And so you just kind of lock in and say hey this is what I need to do to be my best today. Mike obviously is a fantastic coach, has been for a long time. He understands the importance of doing that. And I think they have a really good team and they obviously have a really good head coach and a lot of good players and they have a chance to be a good team this year.”
If you ever heard or saw Jason Garrett speak in any capacity then you likely felt right at home reading these words. The man has not lost a beat.
While Garrett will always have his detractors and people who criticize him for being robotic in nature what he is saying here is pretty fair and honestly very good advice. You can’t pay attention to any of this stuff when you are in that sort of position in general, but especially when you have an important season hanging in the balance the way that McCarthy does.
Today it is Sean Payton as far as a would-be option to replace the Dallas Cowboys head coach (although Payton has certainly been connected to the post before). Jason Garrett dealt with plenty a rumor about then-Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley taking his job, it is just the way that this sort of thing tends to go.