The Dallas Cowboys are getting set to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, and how they play in that game is going to determine a lot for the offseason. This has been a trying season in many ways for the Cowboys, and to their credit they have persevered through all of the hurdles so far. It is fair to give credit for that to head coach Mike McCarthy, but things can always change in the NFL depending on the outcomes of seasons.
Jerry Jones has a vested interest in McCarthy succeeding. But you may recall that in the lead-up to this season, Jones was coy about offering security to the team’s skipper and left certain doors of opportunity open for interpretation. Just this week, though, Jones made his intentions around McCarthy pretty clear.
Sean Payton reportedly does not consider the Cowboys head coaching position to be potentially open
Jerry Jones appeared on 105.3 The Fan and shot down the idea that McCarthy could be in trouble if the Cowboys disappoint on Monday night down in Florida. That in and of itself is a change in tune from last summer.
While you may or may not agree with that, it appears that Sean Payton does. Payton is the top name associated with any head coaching vacancy at the moment and given the connection between him and the Cowboys over the years, many people have assumed that he would be a logical choice for Dallas if things do indeed go south.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Payton does not consider the Cowboys’ job to be open or potentially open.
From @NFLGameDay: With an eye toward Monday night, #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was clear about Mike McCarthy's job status, while #Bucs QB Tom Brady will be one of the most interesting free agents in 2023. pic.twitter.com/MuPsUiey91— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2023
“My understanding guys, is even Sean Payton doesn’t consider this to be a potential opening. It seems Mike McCarthy is safe.”
At the moment there are five NFL teams looking for head coaches in the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals. Payton has been connected to most of them, but as we have noted many times what makes his situation interesting is that his contractual rights are still held by the New Orleans Saints. Any team wanting to bring him in would have to pay up in order to do so.
As it relates to Mike McCarthy, it seems unlikely that the Cowboys would move on from him. He has led the team to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in 15 years and has led the team to double-digit-win seasons in back-to-back years for the first time in 25 years. Dak Prescott noted these things this week in calling the idea that McCarthy could be in trouble “comical.” Those are not Lombardi trophies but the barometer of success for the Cowboys has been lowered thanks to the team’s drought. You can’t put the sins of the past on McCarthy.
Perhaps this is Sean Payton waving the white flag on potentially taking over the Cowboys, it certainly doesn’t help that the other team he has long reportedly been interested is now seemingly more in need of his services than ever in the Los Angeles Chargers. They were up 27-0, and lost!