If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, is Mike McCarthy’s job safe?

I know, silly, right? But you stopped and thought about it. Mike McCarthy is the most bizarrely underappreciated head coach ever. As a Packers fan, I witnessed the years of McCarthy being blamed for every single thing by fans who I maintain just wanted someone new for Cellcom commercials. His clock management was as shaky as his acting skills, but his player and coach development was second to none and deserves more accolades than he’s received.

One of the stories tossed around the bonkers 2022 offseason was that Jerry Jones wanted to fire McCarthy so he could give up multiple draft picks to the Saints so they would let Sean Payton out of his contract. Payton was presumably not interested in coming back to coaching yet, so Jerry made a kinda sorta commitment to McCarthy.

As the story progressed, pundits were falling over themselves to talk about how much of an upgrade it would be for Dallas to get Payton over McCarthy. But why? No one took any time to explain it, but talked like it was a foregone conclusion. Some analysts and writers would flippantly about how obviously the Cowboys would jump at the opportunity to get a Super Bowl winning coach.

As opposed to their current Super Bowl winning coach?

McCarthy won the same number of Super Bowls as Payton… one. They got their rings in back-to-back years, in fact. The former Packers coach was often ridiculed for having Aaron Rodgers and only winning one Super Bowl, yet Payton did no better with Drew Brees.

Let’s look at records entering the 2022 season:

  • McCarthy: 143-92, for a winning percentage of .609
  • Payton: 152-89, for a winning percentage of .631

Hardly seems like enough to say Payton should be handed McCarthy’s job. McCarthy supposedly choked too often in the playoffs, so it would make sense to see a more glaring disparity in their playoff records. But it’s not there.

  • McCarthy: 10-9
  • Payton: 9-8

It’s like they’re the same coach. Almost a little unsettling how closely their careers match up.

So why are they treated so differently? Why is McCarthy seen as some struggling stopgap until Payton gives Jerry the nod or Jerry decides Dan Quinn is ready, and Payton is a master guru and all teams must be willing to give up multiple 1st round picks just to kiss his single ring? I’m seriously asking.

And the bigger question: If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl and Payton tells Jerry he wants the job, would McCarthy be safe, or would we see most unprecedented coach firing in NFL history?

7 thoughts on “If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, is Mike McCarthy’s job safe?”

  1. Jimmy Johnson did get fired by Jerry Jones after winning multiple Super Bowls so it does have precedent with the Cowboys.

    1. How did I miss that?! I remember being blown away when they won the SB and after the debacle, Jimmy looked almost relieved to be out. Maybe this will end up with McCarthy being so frustrated with Jerry that he just walks away a champion.

  2. I think McCarthy is safe as long as the Cowboys don’t completely crap the bed. The only way I see that changing is if Payton were to be interested in the gig, but I think he’s got eyes for the Chargers job should that come open. And I don’t blame him.

    1. My guess is anything less than making the NFC Championship game or a questionable play call in the playoffs will lead to Dan Quinn taking over. Jerry is so afraid of losing him.

      I’ve heard Payton is interested in Chargers or possibly Cards if they’re open. Either one would be a nice spot to walk into. Chargers should be SB contenders with the talent they have.

      1. Every time I start believing in the Cowboys, they come up very small like they did in the Green Bay game. Then they obliterate the Vikings IN Minnesota and I think okay . . .

        But I’m dubious, even now.

        I think the Cards are just so dysfunctional. The Chargers have all the pieces set up for Payton.

        1. I try not to put too much weight on a good team losing to a team with talent that’s been backed into a corner. Especially when there are emotional attachments. Dallas had to play Aaron Rodgers in what was basically make or break for the Packers. Plus it was in Green Bay, where McCarthy literally has a street named after him. And where he developed Rodgers. It was a perfect trap game scenario for Dallas.

          1. That is true. But Dallas has always found a way to lose at the worst moments and going forward I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens again.

            As for Miami, I’m excited for the game against San Fran. The question is . . should I be excited? LOL

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