There's a new sheriff in town for the Dallas Cowboys and you can do away with the lawn maintenance tools, because Mike McCarthy is not beating around the bush in Year 1. In just one offseason, into what is easily viewed as one of the best free agency and draft hauls in more than a decade, and his coaching staff is a who's who of proven talent -- all champing at the bit to help put an end to the ongoing Cowboys championship drought. To that end, and with padded practices well underway, McCarthy is unequivocal in his view of the 2020 season.
When asked if it's Super Bowl or bust, he left no room for interpretation.
"I think a conversation like that, frankly, respectfully, is nonsense," McCarthy told media. "If you're not trying to win a Super Bowl, I don't know what you're even doing in this business."
Fair enough, but this stance is also a 180-degree pivot from the Jason Garrett era, where questions regarding a championship were always met with a reminder of "the process" and/or "taking it one game at a time". While it isn't McCarthy's goal to slight Garrett directly, he'd rather just call it like it is. He knows the Cowboys brought him in with the hopes of winning the team's sixth Lombardi trophy, and as early as 2020, which is why they have so heavily leaned into his influence -- awarding him one of the most potent Cowboys rosters in recent memory.
"I think [championship goals are] what every team starts their offseason with," McCarthy said. "The ones that don't talk about it are probably trying to underpromise, overachieve. I've always been very upfront about it with every team I've ever coached. We're in this to win a championship.
"Make no bones about it."
That said, he also knows the Cowboys have a lot of work to do -- as does every NFL team -- given the lack of minicamp, a traditional offseason program or preseason games due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"The players are doing a great job with the COVID challenge," he said. "It's going to be a long, long year. It's going to be a huge challenge to get that championship. That's the reality of it.
"But at the end of the day, we're on Install [No. 6], and we've got a lot of work to do."
Things will continue to ramp up (and rapidly) for the Cowboys as they ready for the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 13, including taking their practice from team headquarters in Frisco, Texas to AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 30. Newly-hired head coaches like McCarthy -- who would normally have begun their offseason program on April 6 -- are truly behind the eight ball in getting their respective team ready for an NFL season that carries unprecedented challenges. Add to this the sheer number of newcomers on the Cowboys roster at key positions, and the degree of difficulty in reaching Super Bowl LV is through the roof and sitting somewhere on the moon.
Despite those being objective facts, McCarthy views them as excuses, and he isn't interested in talking about a process that could last years. What he wants in 2020 is his second Super Bowl ring and the Cowboys' sixth.
Anything less is a failure in his eyes.