Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy not feeling extra pressure: ‘I’m in a great spot’

With no contract in place beyond the 2024 season, Mike McCarthy could be entering a lame-duck year as the Dallas Cowboys‘ head coach. But speaking to reporters at the NFL’s league meetings, McCarthy said he isn’t feeling any extra heat to help the Cowboys break through in order to keep his job. 

“I don’t see it as more pressure,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s just the reality of our industry. That’s what it is. Those are business decisions and those are really personal, frankly, because we are subcontractors when it comes to the financial component of it.

“You can’t lose sight of the big picture: Make no bones about it, I am extremely blessed to be here. I’m very much engaged where my feet are and the opportunities I’ve had personally. I’m very blessed. I never lose sight of that.”

McCarthy has had a relatively successful four seasons in Dallas. After Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending leg injury early in 2020, the Cowboys have posted a 12-5 record in each of the past three seasons to make the playoffs.

But the Cowboys have had disappointing postseason results with McCarthy. Last season, the Cowboys became the first No. 2 seed to ever lose to a seventh-seeded wild-card team, as Dallas lost to Green Bay 48-32 in the opening round of the playoffs. 

The defeat was bad enough that McCarthy’s job status was in question for several days, with many believing he’d be fired. But the team eventually announced that it would retain McCarthy for the 2024 season though without a contract extension. 

Ahead of the offseason, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declared that the team was “all-in” for the 2024 season. But the team hasn’t made many notable moves outside of signing linebacker Eric Kendricks while letting standout veterans Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith, Michael Gallup, Tyler Biadasz and others walk in free agency. 

What can Mike McCarthy do to keep his job as Cowboys coach?

However, McCarthy continues to emphasize that he’s not panicking, saying, “The biggest impact on our football team will come from the players who are currently on the roster.”

“I understand the question based on the numbers,” McCarthy said when asked if the team was bleeding talent. “But let’s be honest: It’s always a year-to-year approach. The design of your roster, there’s always going to be some variance.

“But I think philosophically, you have to draft and develop. If you look at my history as a head coach, it’s something I’m very comfortable with and have a lot of experience in.”

McCarthy isn’t the only key figure in Dallas facing an uncertain future. Prescott is also entering a contract year, which seems unlikely to be resolved prior to the season. Prescott and the Cowboys reportedly have a mutual understanding about his contract status as there’s no indication that a deal is coming. 

As the “all-in” season seems to also be a make-or-break year for key members of the Cowboys, McCarthy is keeping cool.

“Don’t feel bad for me,” he told reporters with a laugh. “I’m in a great spot.”

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