Mike McCarthy, as expected, will remain the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2022. This news was initially reported by CBS Sports on Jan. 17, one day after the team's embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, and confirmed by team exec Stephen Jones not long thereafter. But it was the noncommittal stance by owner Jerry Jones in the days that followed that led some to believe there was a chance the team would make a change, and particularly after news broke of Sean Payton stepping away from the New Orleans Saints.
The fact of the matter is that Payton's decision never had any bearing on how the Cowboys would handle McCarthy, the team having already long assured him he was safe for 2022, although with a caveat that there must be significant progress in the playoffs next season -- sources told CBS Sports in mid-January.
And that's where Payton might come into play, but not a single moment before.
The Cowboys owner reached out to 105.3FM the Fan on Friday for an impromptu address on the state of Cowboys affairs, undoubtedly ready to clear the air regarding McCarthy and the decision by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to remain with the club, and he did just that.
"The idea of Mike twisting in the wind just wasn't the case ... We did some things I'm really proud of," said Jones, before then blasting media who took his noncommittal as an indication of potential change at head coach.
He also went on to note the reason for his ambiguity was a ploy of some sort to aid in the retention of Quinn, with McCarthy being "very involved" in that process as well, though that explanation adds up about as much as four equaling five.
And so it goes, that Jones said just enough in his previous interview (or rather, avoided saying too much) to generate the headlines he wanted to generate before ultimately landing in the very spot he and the Cowboys were expected to land. They'll now move forward with continuity owning the day, as both McCarthy and Quinn stay put for 2022, although there are still questions on if offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will leave for a head coaching opportunity. As also reported by CBS Sports, Moore is likely to remain with the Cowboys for a variety of reasons, and Jones cemented that expectation on Friday.
"I believe [Kellen Moore] will be back next year," Jones added.
Moore recently signed a contract extension to stay in Dallas and away from the head coaching position at Boise State, but he has a second interview with the Miami Dolphins and hasn't yet planted his flag on anyone's hill. But while Jones works to try and keep his other coordinator in tow, he does so knowing he won't be searching for a new head coach -- at least not yet.