The Dallas Cowboys made the most sweeping change on their coaching staff in more than a decade when they allowed former Head Coach Jason Garrett's contract to expire and hired Mike McCarthy to be their new head coach. When McCarthy came on board, he cleaned house and brought in a whole host of new coaches. Only three assistants remain from the old staff; Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, Quarterbacks Coach Doug Nussmeier, and Assistant Defensive Line Coach Leon Lett.
Change for change's sake is not necessarily a good thing, but the Dallas Cowboys have hit the ball out of the park with their coaching hire. Change in leadership leads to uncertainty, yet the Cowboys have upgraded at the top of their coaching hierarchy. Of course, the proof will come when the Dallas Cowboys line up to play football in September, again attempting to capture their sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Troy Aikman and Dak Prescott both shared their thoughts on the coaching change and what it could mean for the franchise.
“I don't think they could have hired a better coach. I loved him when he was in Green Bay. I loved the way he approached it with us—he was always honest. I liked his style, liked the way his teams were prepared and his resume speaks for itself. I believe if he's allowed to go and run this team the way that he has in Green Bay, I think they'll have success.”
Troy Aikman via Jori Epstein of USA Today Sports
So much of the criticism that Mike McCarthy has faced has focused on the way his tenure ended with the Green Bay Packers; two losing seasons and a fractured relationship with his franchise quarterback. Prior to the last two years, the Packers were one of the most successful teams of the last decade.
Under McCarthy, the Packers made the playoffs in six of his first 11 seasons and the NFC Championship Game four times. In the first 11 seasons, the Packers won more than 10 games eight times and made the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record while Aaron Rodgers was injured and they were forced to start Matt Flynn at the end of the season.
As Aikman said, “his resume speaks for itself.”
The Cowboys have a roster that, despite the setbacks of the 2019 season, is still a roster that is ready to contend, even with all of the holes on defense that they have to fill. That is why McCarthy makes a lot of sense for this team at this time.
Troy Aikman has long been a trusted voice when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. Often criticized for being too harsh on the organization. A ringing endorsement from a guy that many would love to add to the Dallas Cowboys front office should be encouraging for the future of the Dallas Cowboys.
Since the hire, the other question has revolved around how this will impact Dak Prescott as a quarterback. With Prescott set to receive one of the richest contracts in NFL history, the Cowboys needed to make a hire that will maximize his potential through the prime of his career and Mike McCarthy does just that.
McCarthy's shown a consistent ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks whether as a quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, or head coach. If you recall, McCarthy aided the Packers in their transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers.
Now it's Dak Prescott who will be making the first coaching transition of his football career.
It seems almost impossible that a quarterback would never have to go through a head coaching change after four years of high school, four years of college at Mississippi State, and four years in the NFL. That just shows you how successful Dak Prescott led teams have been through his playing career.
Last offseason he had to go through changes at offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the promotion of Kellen Moore to take over for Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator and the hire of Jon Kitna as quarterbacks coach. Though there was a transition that had to take place, it wasn't near as drastic of a change as what is happening this offseason.
Prescott played under Jason Garrett for four seasons and had a great relationship with the head coach. Making the change was the right decision for the franchise, but it will create a whole new dynamic for Dak Prescott moving forward. He and Mike McCarthy will have to learn each other's personalities and figure out how to work together.
Despite the change, Dak Prescott appears to be excited about Mike McCarthy taking over. Like Aikman, he implores everyone to “check his (McCarthy's) resume.”
It's not often a team is able to move on from a coach who has had a lot of success, at least in the regular season, and upgrade to a head coach who has won a Super Bowl. That's the reason the Cowboys went that direction instead of the hot collegiate or NFL coordinator coaching hire.
Dak Prescott is easily the player that benefits the most from the coaching hire, but the organization as a whole will benefit from his experience and leadership. Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff have a ton of experience that the team and the organization will greatly benefit from this offseason as they build the roster for the 2020 season and the future.