Mike McCarthy‘s first year as the Cowboys’ head coach has not gone well, to say the least. At 3-9, Dallas is at the bottom of the awful NFC East, so it’s fair to wonder if McCarthy’s job is in jeopardy.
About a month ago, team EVP Stephen Jones adamantly shot down the notion that he could look to move on from McCarthy at season’s end, but his club has been blown out by the Washington Football Team and the Ravens over the past two weeks, performances that have engendered plenty of conversation about the Cowboys’ effort and heart.
Nonetheless, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network hears that McCarthy will indeed be retained for the 2021 season (video link). After all, it would be difficult for any head coach to overcome the loss of his starting quarterback and the complete decimation of his offensive line, and while the uninspired play is cause for concern, it’s generally advisable to give a HC at least two years to get things moving in the right direction.
But even if McCarthy’s job is safe, there could be major changes on the way. One team source told Rapoport that “something has to change,” and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan could be on the outs. Nolan spent his last few seasons in the league as a linebackers coach and had not been in charge of a defense since 2014, when he wrapped up a three-year stint as the Falcons’ DC. His return to the coordinator ranks has been a disaster, as the Cowboys are near the bottom of the league in total defense and dead last in points allowed per game.
Nolan, 61, has a ton of experience, having served as a defensive coordinator with eight different franchises and as the 49ers’ head coach from 2005-08. But two of his terms as DC lasted just one year — the Jets in 2000 and the Broncos in 2009 — and it looks like the Cowboys will be the third team on that list.
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