Jerry Jones Has ‘Choices’ For Head Coach But Mike McCarthy Gets His Endorsement

Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones was talking about the context with which he speaks to his coaches and painted a clear picture directly tied to his 80th birthday which comes in October.

“I told them I’ve got a birthday coming up here real quick,” Jones told reporters Tuesday. “I don’t have time to have a bad time. It ain’t on my schedule.”

Jones was smiling and seemingly in a good mood as the Cowboys are ready to open training camp Wednesday in Oxnard, Calif. But out of that levity comes the fact Jones needs success.

Now.

“I’m not so sure that’s a joke,” he said, “and that’s the way it is.”

The way it is for Jones and the Cowboys is that anything other than success is unsatisfactory. And this year Jones measures success for his team by making another postseason appearances and perhaps actually winning in the playoffs.

“We need to be in the playoffs,” Jones said. “We need to be viable in the playoffs for it to be a successful season.”

That brings us to coach Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys were successful last year in that they were 12-5 and won the NFC East.

They factored in the playoffs in that they hosted San Francisco in the wild card round. But they lost. And soon after there were calls from pundits for McCarthy to be fired for underperforming with a talented team.

Jones addressed those calls on Tuesday, which should make McCarthy feel good. And a little uneasy, too.

“One of the ones I want to address directly because I guess it’s the one probably that I have the most sensitivity about and that is Mike and him coaching,” Jones said. “And I want to be real clear: He wouldn’t be sitting here today if I didn’t think he’s the man to lead this team to the Super Bowl. He would not be, and I have choices.

“That’s not meant to be insensitive to anybody, that’s a a fact. And so you guys write about a lot of those choices and they were there for my use if I wanted them. And, no. The guy to my right is the one I’m convicted about and have been.”

Great, right?

McCarthy gets the owner’s endorsement before the season even begins.

But what about those “choices?” Those “choices” could become of pesky for McCarthy if the Cowboys don’t live up to expectations.

After the season, you’ll recall, the Cowboys were able to retain defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who did a good job with the defense and once upon a time took the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl. The team also retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who seems like an NFL coach-in-waiting.

And although there is no reporting of Jones trying to hire former New Orleans coach Sean Payton this year, there’s Sean Payton. Jones has coveted him in the past and might again after this season.

So, “choices.”

McCarthy, armed with a shiny new endorsement, has to be wary of “choices” if things don’t go exactly right this season and in the postseason.

“Jerry’s comments are just in line with our conversations,” McCarthy said. “I obviously have the opportunity to meet with Jerry in the GM and head coach realm. And our conversations are about partnership, direction, vision.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to win a championship…”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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