High expectations have already been set for new Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and fans should be excited for two specific reasons.
The Dallas Cowboys head coaching search was officially underway after recent reports from Fox NFL reporter Jay Glazer indicated that the franchise would be moving on without former head coach Jason Garrett on Sunday.
According to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, the Cowboys were looking for someone with NFL head coaching experience and a successful track record. This ruled out any speculation of Dallas hiring coordinators or college coaches.
Monday morning the Cowboys officially found their new head coach. According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, Dallas struck a five-year deal with former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. The hire was quick and somewhat of a surprise. But here are two reasons why McCarthy is a great fit for the Boys.
McCarthy is a proven winner. If Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones wanted a coach with NFL head coaching experience that could come in and be successful immediately then they may have found their guy. He boasts a 125-77-2 record, .618 winning percentage, six division titles, 10-8 playoff record, four NFC title games, and one Super Bowl ring.
McCarthy fits the bill to make this team an instant contender. Since 2006 he ranks sixth in playoff wins only trailing New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and only three other coaches in NFL history have a streak in which they led their team to eight consecutive playoff appearances. That according to Dallas Morning News reporter David Moore.
McCarthy has been the model of consistency whether you want to believe it or not. As noted by Cowboys Insider Mike Fischer via CowboyMaven.
"“At the time of his firing last season, McCarthy’s 125 regular-season wins ranked 27th in NFL history. Of the coaches ahead of him, only seven could beat McCarthy’s winning percentage, a list that includes Hall of Famers Don Shula (.677), George Halas (.682), Curly Lambeau (.631), Paul Brown (.672) and Tony Dungy (.668), plus certain Hall of Fame Bill Belichick (.681) and Hall of Fame candidate Bill Cowher (.623).”"
The numbers speak loudly and over the course of his tenure as the Packers head coach the league always saw them as contender year in and year out. Hopefully that same success spills over to the Cowboys franchise where he beat them twice in the playoffs (2014, 2016).
2. Dak Prescott
The biggest takeaway from this hire is the front office had quarterback Dak Prescott in my mind when making their head coaching decision. McCarthy has been a play-caller since 2000 and can get the most out of Prescott and his skill set.
McCarthy’s most notable work was done with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The talent of Rodgers was raw and perhaps sculpted by his former head coach. Rodgers went on his way to win league MVP twice (2011, 2014) and won Super Bowl XLV MVP in 2011.
Even if McCarthy gets Prescott to improve slightly on a yearly basis, that is a success. In a pass-happy league where good quarterback play is a must, you need a coach who will adapt to his players strengths and improve their weaknesses. McCarthy has the offensive mindset to accomplish this goal.
Yet, nothing is for certain in this league. And only time will tell if McCarthy can bring home the Lombardi Trophy that Cowboys fans have been so desperately seeking for years. But I will say, Cowboys Nation, you have a proven, successful NFL head coach who wins.
So before we immediately dislike the hire let’s just sit back, focus on the positives and see what McCarthy can do. Expectations will be set high right away and I’m interested to see what assistant coaches he brings in, primarily on defense.
According to NFL Network reporter Jane Slater, McCarthy is believed to be bringing in New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan as the defensive coordinator. The team may also be trying to retain secondary coach Kris Richard in some type of role as well. Richard will be setting up a meeting at The Star according to Dallas News reporter Calvin Watkins.
Offensively not many previous assistant coaches names have been dropped to stay with the staff except for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, according to NFL Network Reporter Ian Rapoport.
Fan favorite running backs coach Gary Brown has not been discussed as a possible returnee to the Cowboys staff. He has been nothing short but excellent over the past few years and was a vital key to the impact the running game has had over the years. It would be a brutal blow to lose him to a division rival such as the New York Giants.
Dallas Cowboys fans can all agree on one thing I’m sure of. Mike McCarthy is an upgrade over Jason Garrett. If Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones allows McCarthy to do things his way, we could see playoff contention on a yearly basis with the makeup of this roster. Let me know your thoughts on the reported hire in the comments section below.