FRISCO, Texas – Great quarterbacks have been a constant throughout Mike McCarthy's NFL coaching career.
He broke into the league as a quality control coach for the Chiefs from 1993-94, Joe Montana's final two playing years. As Packers head coach from 2006-18, McCarthy oversaw Brett Favre's final two years in Green Bay and formed a successful partnership with Aaron Rodgers for the next 11 seasons, producing a Super Bowl title in 2010.
The Cowboys' new head coach believes he "has a great one here to work with" in Dak Prescott.
The 26-year-old Cowboys starter had a career season in 2019, throwing for a personal-best 30 touchdown passes and 4,902 yards, one shy of Tony Romo's single-season franchise record.
Prescott has an expiring rookie contract, and an extension wasn't reached during the season. But he undoubtedly figures into the team's long-term plans.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with Dak," McCarthy said during Wednesday's introductory press conference. "I think what he's done so far is very impressive. I think like a lot of us in the league, you watch people from afar. But when you have a chance to watch a player live, and I can recall his rookie year when we played him there in Green Bay, I've always been impressed with him."
Prescott played McCarthy's old Packers team twice as a rookie in 2016. He threw three touchdown passes in a decisive 30-16 win at Lambeau Field, only the sixth start of his career.
Three months later in a divisional-round home loss to Green Bay, Prescott threw three more touchdowns and helped the Cowboys tie the game late before Rodgers' improbable third-and-20 conversion to Jared Cook set up the deciding field goal as time expired.
In Prescott, McCarthy sees a quarterback who can do it all.
"You're going to able to run the whole offense and then some," he said. "And I think he has an incredible foundation to build off of."
Hall of Famer Brett Favre played under McCarthy for two years in Green Bay. In 2007, McCarthy's second year on the job, Favre had one of his most efficient seasons (28 touchdown passes to 15 interceptions, 95.7 passer rating) and the Packers went 13-3, advancing to the NFC Championship game.
He believes McCarthy will tailor his style to fit Prescott's strengths.
"I think when he really examines and studies Dak – you know, Mike has his philosophy as far as offense is concerned and I don't think that's going to change greatly – but I do think what he'll do is try to incorporate what Dak feels very comfortable with," Favre said this week on his SiriusXM NFL Radio show.
McCarthy essentially echoed that approach Friday during a visit with 105.3 The Fan, saying "this offensive system will be built to make the quarterback successful."
"That's how the West Coast offense was designed," he said, "and that's something that has been carried over in every offense that I've ever been a part of."
That will continue in Dallas with Prescott leading the huddle.