FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones officially squashed any speculation about first-year head coach Mike McCarthy's job security in a 4-9 season.
"There will be absolutely no change with Coach McCarthy," Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Monday. "I am surprised that someone would question Mike (in) this unprecedented situation that everybody's been in. And on top of that, no one's making excuses, but we have had some real challenges in the injury category.
"If you look at his track record and his pedigree, he's consistently won year and in and year out. We have the utmost confidence that this ship is going to be righted quickly and Mike's going to be the leader of this group."
Jones' comments shouldn't surprise anyone. The Cowboys' front office has repeatedly backed McCarthy throughout this pandemic-challenged season, and their confidence hasn't wavered despite the team's playoff chances dwindling in December.
The Cowboys secured their fourth win of the season Sunday, 30-7 at Cincinnati, but actually face longer odds of catching the first-place Washington Football Team in the NFC East race. Washington's win over the 49ers on Sunday means the Cowboys now must win their final three games and hope Washington (6-7) loses its final three.
The unique circumstances around the pandemic – a virtual offseason program, a shortened training camp, and constantly-changing in-season schedules for COVID-19 protocol reasons – have been particularly challenging for first-year head coaches. Factor in season-ending injuries to several key players -- quarterback Dak Prescott, tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, tight end Blake Jarwin and defensive linemen Trysten Hill and Gerald McCoy -- and it's been difficult to truly evaluate McCarthy's first year in charge.
McCarthy believes a strong finish to the season can serve as momentum into 2021. He saw progress from his old team, the Packers, carry over following his first season with Green Bay in 2006.
Sunday's win was a step in the right direction. And Jones is convinced the team will be better next year under McCarthy.
"He's certainly a great head coach," Jones said. "I think we're going to see that going forward that he's a great head coach in this league, he's accomplished a lot and he's going to accomplish a lot more before it's all said and done."