That was the question posed to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on 103.5 The Fan Tuesday ahead of Dallas’ wild-card matchup against Tom Brady and the Bucs.
“No,” Jones responded quickly when asked the question. “I don’t even want to — no. I don’t need to go into all the pluses or minuses, but I’ve got a lot more to evaluate Mike McCarthy on than this playoff game.”
Monday’s game will mark McCarthy’s second playoff tilt with Dallas after missing the postseason in his first year with the team, and dropping a controversial 23-17 thriller vs. San Francisco last January.
Following that aforementioned letdown, most of the controversy was centered around McCarthy himself. The ‘Boys comeback attempt was cut short when the team was unable to get a snap off and the clock ran out as the 49ers advanced to the NFC divisional round.
While McCarthy was given another chance to right his wrongs this season, many believe he’s running out of room for error.
“How do you justify keeping him [if the Cowboys lose]?” Shannon Sharpe pondered on Wednesday’s airing of “Undisputed.” “His first year there you missed the playoffs. Last year, you were one-and-done in the playoffs. … Jerry Jones always talks about the personnel, the talent that he has assembled. … This is what he said last year after losing to the 49ers: ‘I am extraordinarily disappointed. I’m very disappointed, disappointed for our fans. This a quite a letdown, they outplayed us.’
“You had a very good record last, you have a very good record this year, you tailed off toward the end. You lost last year in the first round at home. You lose this year in the first round to a sub-.500 team, how do you justify keeping him? … [Jerry], you and Stephen been telling me y’all got Super Bowl talent! … I’m just trying to figure out what you’re evaluating [McCarthy] on if you’re not evaluating him on winning in the playoffs. … You’re going to go down there and lay an egg to an 8-9 team, and then say ‘Mike McCarthy, it’s all good.'”
Skip Bayless agreed with Sharpe’s sentiments, but said he wholeheartedly believed that Jones was in McCarthy’s corner.
Jerry Jones has ‘complete confidence’ in Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy
Jerry Jones said a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would not cost Mike McCarthy his job.
“I’m always at a loss over Jerry’s words,” Bayless expressed, “because I know Jerry very, very well. I don’t understand him.
“You know how I’ve felt from the start about his guy: He’s fraudulent,” he said regarding McCarthy. “He is a product of Aaron Rodgers. … They were not expected to do anything because they were the bottom seed … and then they came to Jerry’s World and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. … McCarthy is made of straw. I don’t know what he is. From the bottom of my heart, still to this moment, I don’t know what he does. … I think he’s a good guy and I think he’s fun to be around. … Jerry likes the heck out of him, not as the proverbial son … but as a brother.
“That’s all you need to know is he makes Jerry Jones happy. … He doesn’t call plays, he’s not a motivational speaker, he’s the opposite of. He’s like a bump on a log during games. He’s looking at the scoreboard and I’m thinking ‘somebody wake him up!’ Jerry says ‘I can’t tell you how much confidence I have in Mike. They’re on top of where we are with this team right now. They’ve got every nuance. Timeout! Every nuance?”‘
Perhaps Jones did exaggerate McCarthy’s knowledge of his team’s nuances, but the ‘Boys owner would gladly substitute a few missed nuances for a win on Monday, which will be far from an easy task.
Despite Tampa Bay’s 8-9 record and ongoing struggles throughout the campaign, Brady has owned the Cowboys throughout his 23-year-playing career. The future Hall of Fame QB is 7-0 all time against Dallas, including a 2-0 mark as a member of the Bucs.
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