The Mike McCarthy era is officially underway. After spending 13 years as the head man in Green Bay, and taking a year off from football, he got his first chance to address the masses as the ninth head coach in the storied history of the Dallas Cowboys.
As things got underway, Owner Jerry Jones quickly explained what he and the organization were looking for in finding the man to lead the organization back to prominence.
“One of our primary goals in selecting the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys was to focus on a proven team-builder and winner,” Jones said. “Someone who’s got a proven track record of winning not only consistently, but at the highest level. In Mike McCarthy, we found a coach who not only checked those boxes, but also has the experience of taking an NFL team to the biggest stage, the Super Bowl, and completing the job.”
Once Jones turned things over to McCarthy, the Cowboy’s new head honcho began with a little humor to break the ice.
“I’m having a moment here,” McCarthy said. “I’m having a moment here because I don’t know where the hell to put my hands. I never sat at a table for a press conference, so excuse me.
“Second thing, I should have brought my typed copy of notes as Jerry did. I tried to be slick and slip this in on ya.”
McCarthy would then address the fans of the franchise and let it be known what the primary focus and goal will be going forward under his leadership.
“I’m just going to say this to the fans: The commitment will be unwavering,” McCarthy said. “I won my first Super Bowl here in North Texas at AT&T Stadium. I just want to tell you I am anxious and excited to get to work on winning the next Super Bowl for the Dallas Cowboys.”
When the subject of Quarterback Dak Prescott came about, McCarthy had some rather glowing praise for his new signal-caller.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Dak,” McCarthy said. “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 have a chance to watch a player live and I can recall his rookie year when we played him there in Green Bay so 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 and that’s the way I believe you play offense. We have a great one here to work with.”
During his days in Green Bay, McCarthy was known for putting the ball in the hands of Aaron Rodgers and letting him throw a party. This caused fans and members of the media to wonder how All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott would fit into McCarthy’s offensive philosophy. Without hesitation, the new captain of the Cowboys ship put to bed any worries about how Elliott would be used.
“He’s going to get the football, let’s make no mistake about that,” McCarthy said firmly. “I think you have to clearly understand, when you say that the offense is going to make the quarterback successful, the best way to make him successful is a great run game. We clearly understand what we have here and how we can build off of that.”
One of the most frequent questions asked once McCarthy was hired was would the Cowboys switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme or stay in their base 4-3. He would go on to say that those and other decisions won’t be made until the coaching staff is fully assembled.
With the expectation of first-year Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore being retained on the staff, it will be interesting going forward to see how the young hotshot play-caller will combine his skills with the offensive philosophy of McCarthy. When asked what he thought of his new OC, the Cowboys new head man explained how impressed he was with what he did in 2019.
“I thought Kellen did an excellent job, especially for being in year one as a coordinator,” McCarthy said. “The numbers speak for themselves. What he did with that offense is very impressive.”
Of course, it was just a matter of time before McCarthy was asked the question, “Did Dez catch it?” He would then go back in time and explain what went on once the catch or non-catch was made by Bryant on that now infamous day at Lambeau Field.
“I had one timeout, maybe four minutes left in the game,” McCarthy explained. “And I said after the game that was one hell of an athletic play. I was impressed. Dez and Sam Shields, you’re talking about two great athletes going after the football. But I asked the question in regards to how the rule was written, and I was given the right answer by the referee (Gene Steratore), so then I challenged it.”
McCarthy would then, while laughing a little, admit that it indeed was a catch by Bryant.
“It was a great catch, I can say now. But it wasn’t then, technically.”
Mike McCarthy was direct and off the cuff during his introductory press conference. Now, the next thing will be figuring out who will stay and who will move on as far as the coaching staff is concerned. Once those decisions are made he’ll then began the journey of getting the Cowboys back to the playoffs and competing at the highest level in the NFC. It’s a new day and a new direction in the Cowboy’s organization, and with McCarthy at the helm, America’s Team seems to be in excellent hands.