Mike McCarthy has always been on the hot seat.
It’s just the way it has been for him during much of his four-season tenure under Jerry Jones as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Jones, of course, has done little to quell any speculation about McCarthy’s future over the years. He often brought it up himself and did so again recently said McCarthy will be examined after each playoff game.
Well, Sunday afternoon, it suddenly became examination time when the Cowboys were shockingly hammered at home by the Green Bay Packers by the score of 48-32. And it wasn’t even that close as the Packers jumped to a 27-0 lead in the first half. It the first time a two seed lost since the NFL went to the seven-team playoff format in 2020.
McCarthy, who has one year remaining on his contract, is now 1-3 in the playoffs as Dallas’ coach after three straight 12-win regular seasons. But this one may be the last one. Dallas had big hopes of winning their first Super Bowl in nearly thirty years after winning the NFC East Division title in 2023. Jones thought this team was the best team he’s had in recent history.
So, seeing a 16-game home winning streak go up in flames in the manner that it did to a lower seed in the playoffs just might be Jones’ breaking point. Giving up 48 points in the playoffs at home could get a lot of coaches fired.
But for the way the Dallas offense was out of sorts, the way the defense was a sudden sieve and how the team suddenly fell apart on their once dominant home field, could be death knells for McCarthy’s tenure in Dallas.
After the game, Jones told reporters he was “disappointed” and it was as bad of a loss as he can remember and he was “floored” by it. Still, he wouldn’t address any change yet. Still, it’s going to be the focus of the NFL over the next couple of days or until Jones drops the axe.
Add in the fact that their is an elephant in the room that clearly could get Jones’ attention. That elephant, of course, wears six Super Bowl rings as a head coach.
Bill Belichick could be Jones’ next Bill Parcells.
Will it happen?
Well, the only chance is if Jones fires McCarthy and it would not be shocking if that happens soon.
Belichick surely is taking notice of the development in Dallas wherever he is lounging Sunday night in his first weekend as a free agent in 24 years. Could you imagine what Belichick could do with Micah Parsons? So, the fit is natural between Belichick and the Cowboys.
Sure, you can talk about Jones and Belichick clashing, but the truth is they are friendly and they are narrow in their thinking: Winning the Super Bowl is all that matters.
Jones is 81. Belichick will be 72 in April. They would both realize they have a relatively small window to work together to do something special. They would make it work.
It all makes sense, especially after what McCarthy put on the field Sunday.