Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones jilted the hopes of the team’s supporters everywhere this week by bringing back coach Mike McCarthy, despite his sad-sack 1-3 playoff record in Dallas and the shock defeat the team suffered at the hands of the Packers in the playoff opener.
But it might not have been entirely Jones’ decision. A report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has indicated that the Cowboys wanted to at least gauge the interest of legendary coach Bill Belichick in the Dallas job, but were rebuffed.
Belichick, it seems, is getting closer to landing in Atlanta. Both the Cowboys and Eagles, it was reported, were shut down in their potential pursuit of Belichick, leading the Cowboys to stick with McCarthy and the Eagles to retain Nick Sirianni. One reason, oddly enough, cited by Florio is that Belichick did not want to work in a big media market anymore.
“One league source explained it, Belichick is believed to be done with ‘big-market media,’ making him more inclined to go to a place like Atlanta than Dallas or Philadelphia,” Florio wrote this week.
“As to the Cowboys and the Eagles, there’s also a belief in some league circles that both team expressed interest in Belichick, that Belichick didn’t reciprocate, and that those teams then decided to stick with their current coaches.”
According to multiple reports, the Falcons appear to be closing in on appointing Belichick as the team’s next head coach. It would be an interesting match of a coach who is just 26 wins shy of the all-time record for NFL coaches (held by Don Shula with 328) and has five Super Bowl championships, and an organization that has never won a Super Bowl and has not been above .500 since 2017.
Belichick has been interviewed twice with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and has been recently inquiring about the team’s personnel.
After the loss to the Packers, there was heavy speculation that the Cowboys would be involved with a possible move to Belichick. SI.com insider Albert Breer wrote on Twitter during the blowout loss,
“Bill Belichick has, quietly in recent years, through doing football business and attending owners meetings, built a very solid relationship with both Jerry and Stephen Jones. Things might be getting pretty interesting here.”
Cowboys Stuck With Mike McCarthy
Of course, they never did get very interesting when it came to the Cowboys and Belichick—or any other potential head coach, for that matter. After two days of deliberation, the Cowboys brought back McCarthy and re-introduced him with a press conference on Wednesday.
McCarthy drew derision from around the league when he declared that the Cowboys do have a championship program in place but just have not gotten around to winning playoff games yet.
“My message would be this: We have established a championship program. It’s just not the world championship yet,” McCarthy said.
“We know how to win, we know how to train to win. We have the right people. But we have not crossed the threshold of winning playoff games. And it’s extremely disappointing to be sitting here talking about it. But I know how to win. We will get over threshold. I have total confidence in that, and that’s why I’m standing here today.”
Perhaps that was why he was standing there that day. More likely, though, is that he was standing there because Bill Belichick did not want the job.