5 Mike McCarthy replacements for the Cowboys that aren’t Sean Payton

Thomas Brown. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Brown. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Byron Leftwich. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Byron Leftwich, OC, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On Sunday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made things tough on the Cowboys’ offense. As for their defense, things weren’t easy on that side either.

While Dallas did keep the points to a minimum, the Bucs continued to take chunks of time off the clock as they used the run game to wear the defense down and keep the offense off the field. That played a huge part in keeping them from ever getting into a rhythm.

Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich deserves credit for this as he once again proved to be a solid play-caller. A former starting quarterback for Jacksonville, Leftwich is one of the top candidates to be a head coach in 2023 according to Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network.

"“Leftwich was viewed as the favorite to land the Jaguars’ head coaching gig this offseason, and he reportedly held contract talks with Jacksonville before negotiations fell apart. Instead of returning to the team that drafted him, Leftwich will stick in Tampa Bay for at least one more year.” – Robinson, PFN"

Not only did he nearly win the job with the Jaguars, but Leftwich had a shot at being the head coach in Tampa as well. They wound up going with Todd Bowles, who was also a great choice, but that could lead to Leftwich being poached.

Dallas would be wise to be the team that tries to steal him, giving them a young coach who is much more in-tuned to today’s game than McCarthy has proven to be.