It took four games for the speculation on Mike McCarthy’s job to begin.
The Cowboys coach is facing some early criticism after a 1-3 start, punctuated by giving up a league-worst 36.5 points per game. ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson speculated that McCarthy could get fired if the team finishes in the 6-10 range.
“If they go 6-10 and miss the playoffs, you might start to hear some rumblings about him being replaced and Jerry Jones swallowing the money and saying, ‘I gotta cut bait and get the right guy in charge. I can’t keep trying to find the right guy, I have to hire the right guy. I’ve got to get on my private jet and have a secret meeting at somebody’s campus or somebody’s facility and no one knows in that town what’s going on,’” said Johnson, who played two seasons with the Cowboys near the end of his career.
“If they go 6-10 and miss the playoffs with the talent that they have and the money the quarterback is seeking… you got everything there. You may want to get the right guy in and hit the reset button.”
The Cowboys went through this last season, with Jones openly venting his frustration with the job Jason Garrett was doing and ultimately firing him after the season. However, Garrett had nine and a half seasons to lead the Cowboys to glory and he never reached an NFC Championship Game. McCarthy has had four games — ugly, underwhelming and they really should be 0-4 — but four games all the same.
Jones voiced his support for McCarthy in his weekly radio spot on 105.3 FM The Fan’s Shan & RJ show.
“I noticed an undeniable resolve to correct it and make corrections in the game or in the process of getting the team ready,” Jones said of McCarthy, who was in the middle of his 14th year as Packers coach when he was fired during the 2018 season.
“There is no diminishing of hope… I’ve seen this team really respond to adversity.”
The Cowboys’ primary issue has been on defense, giving up 39 points in a miraculous win over the Falcons that they followed up with a 38-31 loss to the Seahawks and the Browns cruising to a 49-38 victory in Dallas.
Fingers have been pointed at defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and star linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was criticized for a lack of effort on Odell Beckham’s game-sealing reverse touchdown on Sunday.
“I think Jaylon Smith has been courageous, I’ll use that word right there, in his performance,” Jones said. “He gives you everything that he’s got… I’ll say without question he has the talent to be the middle linebacker on a winning, championship team.”