One of the most important aspects of the hiring of Mike McCarthy as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys is the potential effect it will have on Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott. McCarthy’s history as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator speaks for itself and while Aaron Rodgers gets a lot of the credit for the success the Green Bay Packers have had over the last decade, McCarthy’s the guy that oversaw that development.
Mike McCarthy over the years has worked with some of the very best at the quarterback position in his time in the NFL. As the quarterbacks coach in Kansas City, McCarthy got to work with Joe Montana and though its hard to credit the coach with the finished product that was Montana at that point in his career, that relationship helped mold McCarthy’s view of the position that would impact other players along the way.
McCarthy and the Chiefs were able to get functional play out of lesser valued quarterbacks like Steve Bono, Rich Gannon, and Elvis Grbac. His work in Kansas City helped him land his first coordinator job with the New Orleans Saints and once again helped his team to the playoffs while coaching Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks with the New Orleans Saints.
He had a great track record of getting the most out of his quarterbacks, so it’s no surprise that McCarthy was able to resurrect Brett Favre at the end of his career and usher in the Aaron Rodgers era.
Now he’s been tasked with helping Dak Prescott take the next step in his development and is excited to get to work with the Cowboys franchise quarterback. Here’s what he had to say in his introductory press conference when asked about working with Prescott.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Dak (Prescott). I think what he’s done so far is very impressive. I think like a lot of us in the league you watch people from afar, but when you get the chance to watch a player live and I can recall his rookie year when we played him there in Green Bay. I’ve always been impressed with him. You’re going to be able to run the whole offense and then some. I think he has an incredible foundation to build off of. And our offensive system will be built around making the quarterback successful. That’s the way I’ve learned it. That’s the way I believe you play offense. We have a great one here to work with.”
Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy via DallasCowboys.com
The game McCarthy’s referring to was the 2016 win by the Cowboys on the road in Green Bay in just Dak Prescott’s sixth NFL start. In that game, Prescott and the Cowboys offense had to go on the road without their lead wide receiver Dez Bryant. Still, Dak Prescott managed to play really well. He went 18 of 27 for 247 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott had a great game that day, however, a big 97-yard drive to close out the half, highlighted by a 42-yard pass to Terrance Williams and a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler helped give the Cowboys a 17-6 lead at halftime.
McCarthy saw first hand in that win, in the 2016 divisional round, and in the 2017 regular-season just what Dak Prescott was capable of. And though Prescott only won one of those three matchups, he played well in all three. Though he started out slow in the divisional round in 2016, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys nearly pulled off an epic comeback. In the 2017 game, Prescott and the offense went toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a 35-31 loss.
Dak Prescott is on the verge of becoming one of the richest quarterbacks in the NFL this offseason and with that investment, the Cowboys front office is going to surround him with as much support as possible to get the most out of their investment. For the same reason they brought Mike McCarthy in is the same reason they’ll get a long-term deal done with Amari Cooper, why Randall Cobb will be back, and why they’ll likely make an investment at TE.
It’s easy to chalk McCarthy’s words up as coach speak, but on the surface, they seem genuine. Dak Prescott does have a great foundation to work with and has done a lot in his first four years in the league. There are things that Prescott can work on to step his game up as he enters the prime of his career and Mike McCarthy looks to be the coach to do it.
The Dallas Cowboys made the right hire when they brought McCarthy on board for so many reasons, but the biggest one by far is what it will mean for Dak Prescott and his career moving forward. I have no doubt that Prescott and McCarthy will get along great as quarterback and head coach/playcaller. Both are serious about their work and both have an attitude that understands the opportunity and responsibility they have in front of them as the quarterback and head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
As we sit in January, it’s obviously way too soon to predict exactly how this will play out, but all signs point to Dak Prescott being able to build off of his career 2019 campaign.
One thing is certain though, the Dallas Cowboys are pushing all the chips in on this combination expecting it to yield big-time results.
John Williams from InsideTheStar.com is joined by 1310 and 96.7 The Ticket’s Bob Sturm to talk about the addition of Mike McCarthy as Head Coach, the latest assistant hires, and what it all means for the Dallas Cowboys.