On more than one occasion, Jerry Jones called Jason Garrett his Tom Landry. As recently as the 2019 offseason, the Cowboys owner said Garrett had a chance to become the longest-tenured coach in franchise history.
The Cowboys parted ways with Garrett after the 2019 season, with Garrett’s 9 1/2 seasons as head coach ranking second behind Landry but 19 1/2 behind Landry.
Now, Jones is telling Mike McCarthy the same thing in an apparent vote of confidence for the head coach after three seasons and with back-to-back losses to the 49ers in the postseason.
“As far as my relationship with Jerry, just using his words, we’re in an excellent spot,” McCarthy said in a news conference Thursday. “The partnership that we have, he’s excited about. He told me a number of times this week that he wants me to coach here as long as coach Landry did. And I said, ‘OK, that’s a long time.’ I feel really good about our relationship. I think or ability to discuss and disagree we do a good job of that, and I think that’s important.”
Since Jones bought the team in 1989 and fired Landry, he has hired eight head coaches. Only Jimmy Johnson and Garrett lasted longer than four seasons.
If that’s not enough to convince you that McCarthy won’t outlast Landry with the Cowboys, McCarthy would need to coach to age 85 to have as many seasons as Landry. Romeo Crennel was the oldest coach in NFL history when he was interim coach of the Texans at age 73.
McCarthy has put together back-to-back 12-win seasons, something that hasn’t been done in Dallas since the 1990s when the Cowboys won the final three of the franchise’s five Super Bowls. Despite his 30-20 regular-season record, McCarthy is 1-2 in the postseason with a loss to the 49ers in the wild-card round in 2021 and a loss to the 49ers in the divisional round last week after a win over the Bucs in the wild-card round two weeks ago.
Jones publicly backed McCarthy on Sunday after the 19-12 loss at San Francisco.
Despite outside speculation, McCarthy never doubted he would return for a fourth season.
“I get to talk to Jerry a lot, so I’ve never, I’ve never felt [his job was in jeopardy],” McCarthy said. “The narrative was externally generated.”