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Jerry Jones has not fired a Dallas Cowboys head coach at the end of a season in over 20 years

Jerry Jones has been mostly very passive with head coaches for almost 20 years.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Mike McCarthy is returning to the Dallas Cowboys in 2024. The news was made official on Wednesday evening.

If you scroll through the comments on that post you will see that a majority of fans are feeling rather displeased about the situation. Dallas was humiliated in the playoffs and are 1-3 in the playoffs under McCarthy, so while he has had great regular-season success and punched three straight playoff tickets, the good that he has achieved feels a bit hollow.

Beyond all of that, McCarthy will be entering a contract year with the Cowboys. The point in saying this is not to advocate for an extension for McCarthy. but rather to highlight the potential drama that serves to live around every corner in this particular scenario.

Maybe you think that drama is good. Perhaps you want the pressure elevated. But for almost 30 years now, the Cowboys organization, including this regime, has generally not lived up to high-pressure moments so purposefully instigating this situation is a bold choice.

Jerry Jones has not fired a Dallas Cowboys head coach at the end of a season in over 20 years

Mike McCarthy obviously inherited his current post from Jason Garrett and it is often forgotten how the latter ended his time. Jason Garrett was never fired by the Dallas Cowboys. His contract simply was not renewed. If the Cowboys choose to move on from Mike McCarthy following the 2024 season, then the exact same thing will have happened.

Interestingly enough it has been an extremely long time since the Cowboys fired a head coach at the end of a season. Garrett’s predecessor Wade Phillips was handed his walking papers by the team, but it was in the middle of the 2010 season and not the end of it (coincidentally after a loss to Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers).

Bill Parcells coached the team before Phillips did and was not fired but rather walked away into permanent coaching retirement. You have to go all the way back to the coach before him to find one who the Cowboys terminated at the conclusion of a season. The man in question is Dave Campo after the 2002 season in terms of what technically fits our description.

This would not necessarily be an uncommon thing if we were talking about say the Pittsburgh Steelers given their track record for dealing with head coaches. But the entire time in question here is a part of The Drought™️ for the Cowboys and only technically firing a coach once at then end of the season over 20 years is rather startling, isn’t it?

The point here isn’t to say that teams who fire head coaches at the end of a season are solving some sort of magic puzzle. But that the Cowboys appear unwilling to do this and are on the verge of having two consecutive coaches simply fulfill their contractual requirements certainly puts them in a weird box.

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