For a coach with a winning pedigree like the one Mike McCarthy has, future opportunities were always going to be available. If you've been a Super Bowl-winning coach in the NFL, then interviews tend to go both ways; sometimes the team needs to prove to the coach that the fit is right. But in his introductory press conference with the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, McCarthy admitted that when he flew to North Texas to interview with the Jones family last weekend, he and his wife, Jessica, were "crossing our fingers."
He also revealed that at the end of multi-hour interview process, Jerry Jones told him a story about purchasing the Cowboys and then followed it up by shaking his hand and saying, "And you need to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys," essentially offering him the job on the spot. "That's a moment and a story I'll be telling the rest of my life."
McCarthy coached the Green Bay Packers from 2006-2018 and won the 2010 Super Bowl in AT&T Stadium in 2011. His record in Green Bay was 125-77-2. Both he and Jones stated on Wednesday that McCarthy's experience in another of the NFL's most successful and tradition-focused franchises will be an advantage. He grew accustomed to the pressure of having to walk by statues of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi in Green Bay just to get to work and called protecting the Cowboys' tradition "an honor and a privilege."
"I understand it, and I know what it takes," McCarthy said.
After his 13-year tenure in Green Bay, the 56-year-old coach took last season off, and called it a "year of reflection" in which he could take advantage of the additional moments with wife and two daughters. He remained strongly invested in football during that year, however. He says that he used advanced analytics and game film to study trends happening all over the the NFL, including watching the Cowboys and their Dak Prescott-led offense.
Views of the Dallas Cowboys hosting a press conference to introduce Head Coach Mike McCarthy at Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with Dak," he said. "Our offensive system will be built around trying to make the quarterback successful. That's the way I believe you play offense." He later added, "Zeke is going to get the football. Make no mistake about that."
The new Cowboys head coach was hesitant to get into many specifics about the offensive or defensive game plan for his team next season, but he didn't mince words about his goals now that he is back in the NFL.
"I'm just going to say this to the fans: the commitment will be unwavering. I won my first Super Bowl here in North Texas at AT&T Stadium. I am anxious and excited to get to work on the next Super Bowl for the Dallas Cowboys."