The current list of believers in Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy might not be very long, but Stephen Jones is on it.
The team’s executive vice president spoke on the radio in Dallas on Monday and called McCarthy the “right head guy” for the Cowboys. Those comments came a day after McCarthy and the Cowboys lost 25-3 to the Washington Football Team, falling to 2-5 on the season. Jones’ full comments were as follows:
“I know we’ve got the right head guy for the job. It’s a work in progress,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan. “… These things just take time. I know our fans are frustrated. We certainly understand the criticism that’s coming our way.”
Jones also pointed out in his radio appearance that in McCarthy’s first season in Green Bay (2006), the Packers started 1-4. It’s also fair to say McCarthy hasn’t had the easiest luck with injuries in 2020 — Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury, his backup Andy Dalton was just concussed and star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch missed multiple weeks. Ezekiel Elliott also can’t stop fumbling.
After reports last week of some disconnect between the Cowboys’ locker room and McCarthy, that showed up again after Sunday’s loss. The hit that knocked Dalton out of the game was a late hit on the sliding Dalton, yet none of the Cowboys players got in linebacker Jon Bostic’s face after the play. McCarthy expressed his displeasure with that.
“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another,” McCarthy told reporters postgame. “It definitely was not the response you would expect.”
McCarthy was hired by the Cowboys in the offseason after they moved on from Jason Garrett. A successful tenure in Green Bay, coupled with a pandemic-altered season, likely gives McCarthy leash to at least make it through Year 1 in Dallas without his seat getting too hot. But the potential that he’s lost the locker room, along with a poor NFC East looking wide open for the taking, could always lead to abrupt changes.
Jones’ comments Monday calling McCarthy the “right head guy” could also lead one to believe that Dallas isn’t as pleased with McCarthy’s assistant coaches. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan could come under fire after the Cowboys’ defense has been one of the worst in the league this season.