Mike McCarthy will be sticking around Dallas for the 2024 season, but he’ll do so on an expiring deal. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cowboys are not expected to extend McCarthy before the start of the 2024 campaign. The Cowboys head coach is heading into the final year of his contract.
Following another frustrating playoff exit, there were many pundits who speculated that McCarthy would be the scapegoat. Instead, owner Jerry Jones gave his head coach a vote of confidence and definitively stated that McCarthy would be back with the Cowboys in 2024. An extension would have obviously been a much louder affirmation, and while McCarthy will temporarily keep his job, he’ll head into the 2024 season with lame-duck status.
While many head coaches and front offices try to avoid these lame-duck situations, Schefter notes that Jones is thinking differently. The owner believes McCarthy will be “challenged in a different way” with an expiring deal, and he’s hoping the pressure will “bring out the best” in his head coach.
This also isn’t an unprecedented move by the Cowboys organization. Schefter points out that Jones twice had McCarthy’s predecessor, Jason Garrett, coach on the final year of his contract. The first time around, the Cowboys went 12-4 and earned Garrett a new five-year deal. Following the second instance, the Cowboys went 8-8 and Garrett wasn’t re-signed, leading to McCarthy’s hiring.
While McCarthy has made it clear that his contract status won’t be a distraction, sources told Schefter that it could have an impact on the rest of his staff. Since McCarthy’s future in Dallas is uncertain, the head coach may have a tough time filling openings on his staff. Further, some sources questioned how Cowboys players will react to McCarthy’s status if the Cowboys go through a rough stretch in 2024.
The Cowboys have finished with 12 wins in each of the past three seasons, but they only have a single playoff win over that span. The Cowboys haven’t advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs since the last time they won the Super Bowl in 1995.