Does Mike McCarthy’s little fib throw up a big red flag?

Is the fact Mike McCarthy lied about analyzing all the Dallas Cowboys plays last year throw up a red flag about his true development as a coach?

For many long-suffering fans of the Dallas Cowboys, the celebration behind the hiring of Mike McCarthy as the team’s newest head coach last week had more to do with the end Jason Garrett‘s near decade long run than the hiring itself.

For a week, the Cowboys held Garrett’s job status in limbo. And when reports emerged that the nine-year head coach was still lobbying to keep his job in Dallas, many fans feared the worst. So you can imagine the euphoria some experienced when it was announced that Garrett would not be retained and McCarthy was hired to replace him within the span of a day.

Most ignored the fact McCarthy was fired as the longtime Green Bay Packers head coach for some of the same reasons most wanted Garrett ousted in Dallas. Both seemingly had gotten stale in their high-status roles and underachieved despite possessing very talented rosters.

Instead, it seems, most have decided to embrace the positives of the McCarthy hiring. The fact he won a Super Bowl in AT&T Stadium back in 2011 being the biggest. Close behind is the fact he’s coached some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, boding well for the future of the Cowboys’ young passer, Dak Prescott.

One major area of optimism is the well-publicized reports that McCarthy took his forced year-long sabbatical away from the NFL to improve himself. During a long sit down interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, McCarthy explained all the ways he’d improved as a coach, from scheduling practices to a deep dive into analytics.

The latter being key to McCarthy’s perceived growth as he even admitted his previous aversion for analytics, telling King during the interview that he used to say statistics were for losers. For him, it’s always been about the application of that information.

Presumably, one of the main reasons the Cowboys chose McCarthy is because of the work he did during his year away. Yet, at the press conference which officially announced his hiring last week, McCarthy admitted he’d lied to owner and general manager Jerry Jones during the interview process.

McCarthy had apparently told Jones that he had analyzed every snap the Cowboys played in 2019. But he later admitted that was a fib he told simply because he wanted the job. McCarthy would go on to explain that his study of the Cowboys was more about tracking trends and situation-specific.

In a recent Pro and Cons article, NFL.com’s Marc Sessler chimed in McCarthy’s admitted lie and the questions it sparks about his actual evolution as a head coach.

“The ‘revamped’ McCarthy sold himself by telling the Jones clan he pored through every snap of the Dallas campaign, only to admit that was a fib, saying: ‘I need to confess: I told Jerry I watched every play of the 2019 season. I wanted the job. You do what you gotta do, right?’ I’m willing to chalk that up as a media-friendly anecdote, but questions loom: Has McCarthy truly evolved?”

Admittedly, McCarthy could have chosen to continue to fib but opted to come clean at a press conference in front of the entire sporting world with Jerry Jones at his side. So, give him a ton of credit there.

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Still, maybe the biggest question Dallas Cowboys fans should be asking themselves is whether Mike McCarthy has actually evolved as a head coach? Or did McCarthy simply do and say all the things he needed to in order to get back into the NFL?

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