For years many Dallas Cowboys fans called Jason Garrett a puppet for owner Jerry Jones. New head coach Mike McCarthy chimes in on those concerns.
Now entering his 14th year as an NFL head coach, Mike McCarthy has gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to franchise management. As the head coach of the Green Bay Packers from nearly 13 seasons, McCarthy didn’t have a hands-on owner looking over his shoulder. Instead, his owners were Packer fans themselves as Green Bay is publicly-owned.
As owner and general manager of America’s Team, Jones is the public face of the Cowboys. And he’s undoubtedly the most available owner in the league when it comes to the media.
Unlike most NFL owners, Jones often does his own postgame interviews. And not at a podium, but often outside the locker room. He even makes a weekly radio appearance.
But having an owner in the spotlight and so available to speak his mind can become a distraction. Especially when his message and that of the head coach don’t match.
On Friday, McCarthy joined Shan & RJ on 105.3 The Fan for a radio interview. Here’s his response to a question about the perception that a chatty Jerry Jones often interferes and his talkative nature can undermine his head coach.
"“Well, I think like in anything in life you have to get in there and make your own judgements. But I’ve seen zero evidence of that … It doesn’t take very long to see the commitment and the passion in his eyes, and he wants to win. He wants to win more than anybody. And at the end of the day, as an NFL head coach, that’s all you can ask for from your owner.”"
Jason Garrett was considered a perfect complement to Jerry Jones, a subservient head coach who was often referred to by fans as being a puppet of his meddling owner. Yet, previous concerns about Jones being difficult to work with seemed to be all but elevated after Jones hired Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells back in the mid-2000s.
The prickly Parcells had a very successful four-year run under Jerry Jones, leading the Cowboys to three winning seasons and jump-starting the career of quarterback Tony Romo in Dallas.
Mike McCarthy was able to find a ton of success working under an ownerless system in Green Bay. And some have suggested that McCarthy could thrive under someone like Jerry Jones in Dallas as well. An owner that attracts that much of the spotlight could actually allow the head coach to focus on football more.
Regardless, winning seems to make every relationship work better. So, as long as the Dallas Cowboys are winning, no one will be talking about potential dysfunction and owner interference.