Jerry Jones’ anger towards the end of the Cowboys season leaves two options on the table in Dallas


As I type this, almost 72 hours have passed since Jerry Jones launched 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] and left Mike McCarthy writhing in the wind. No endorsement for a job well done, no vote of confidence going forward, not much about his head coach beyond a pet peeve about using the offseason to solve the encroaching penalty problem of the Cowboys.

Beyond the entertainment value of Jones’ 22-minute interview on the station, the pertinent question is: did it mean anything?

There are two possibilities. The first is that, five days after the club’s loss to San Francisco, Jones was still so annoyed with his head coach that he didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of hearing that everything was fine and that he would, in indeed, a job here in 2022. And listening again, I think that’s the most likely answer to this riddle. With Jones, you tread lightly through the minefield of his ambiguity, but if you’re forced to take sides, I’d probably choose this one.

Jones is still angry, but nothing is going to happen. End of the story.

The other possibility — and I believe it’s real — is that, as the owner said, he doesn’t have to make an announcement on Friday morning. Its evaluation is in progress. The main reason for any hesitation on his part is that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had his fifth head coaching interview on Monday, this one with the New York Giants. He has already interviewed Chicago, Minnesota, Denver and Miami.

If Quinn is offered one of these positions, Jones might try to rescind his exit by offering him the best position here. I don’t think this is something Jones is inclined to do or would consider a major upgrade, so it probably won’t happen. But I also don’t think Jones thinks McCarthy really did anything to suggest that it’s a terrible idea, to trade one veteran coach for another in order to maintain some of the positive feelings that Quinn generated while this club was developing a much more aggressive turnover. – creation of the defense.

I find it funny that critics of that notion get too worked up about how Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead against New England in the Super Bowl five years ago when Quinn was head coach, rather than to discuss the share of responsibility for this collapse. on the shoulders of then offensive playmaker Kyle Shanahan (the answer is a lot). This game is no more relevant to the future of the Cowboys than the Super Bowl McCarthy won in Arlington 11 years ago. In today’s game, both are ancient history for other teams. Coaches thrive and fail primarily based on the particular talent they inherit and accumulate in different situations.

Quinn was fired after an 0-5 start to 2020, and he still had a winning record. In Atlanta. Let’s not pretend his head coaching experience was the same as Rod Marinelli’s.

We’ve seen Quinn come to Dallas and do pretty well. I don’t want to exaggerate because this defense isn’t perfect, but it was a nice improvement from a year ago. To think that he could lead this team the same as McCarthy and maybe do a little better isn’t a crazy idea. I think that’s the only change Jones would consider as the club has a huge number of contracted managers. If you replaced McCarthy with Quinn, you wouldn’t have to eat millions in contracts other than head coaching.

At the same time, it’s probably the best reason Quinn would have for going anywhere else. If he is well liked in one of the other five cities, he can build his own staff. Also, depending on the job, time will be on its side. Four of those teams had losing records and Miami was 9-8. Expectations are different than they are here where 2022 will be judged on whether or not the Cowboys reach that elusive NFC Championship game.

My best guess, though, is that Jones has resigned himself to another status quo season on the coaching staff. It’s not something he’s happy to announce, and he sure didn’t want to give the impression that he was indifferent to the whole mess.

In over 30 years of dating the Dallas owner, I’ve only found two reviews that really bother him. The second most important is that he and his son Stephen Jones want to make money, not win. It will anger one or the other in a hurry. And while I consider that to be a huge exaggeration, it is undeniable, and there never will be, that 31 general managers and personnel managers vie for their jobs every year.

Not the Jones Boys.

The other criticism, the one that will bring Jerry to the table, is to suggest that the three Lombardi trophies won in the 90s were solely the work of Jimmy Johnson and that nothing good was achieved (beyond Barry Switzer winning a title with Jimmy’s players) since leaving.

And it’s that criticism – again an exaggeration of how things were going although Jerry certainly wasn’t sitting next to Jimmy at coaches meetings in 1992 – that keeps the owner from settling in comfortable with his current head coach. There’s only one way to kill this criticism for good, and Jerry has been searching for that answer for a quarter of a century.


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