The Dallas Cowboys have made the slightly shocking decision to retain head coach Mike McCarthy after yet another extremely disappointing playoff loss last weekend. ESPN's Adam Schefter initially reported the news about McCarthy returning to Dallas in 2024, a decision that is even more head-scratching this year than it was last year. And it's a crossroads with a head coach that feels all too familiar for Denver Broncos fans.
Already 10 years have gone by since the Denver Broncos made the decision to fire John Fox, who had led the team to four straight division titles and a Super Bowl appearance in the 2013 season. But an early exit against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014-15 postseason led to the Denver Broncos and John Fox parting ways, another way to say that he was fired.
The Broncos weren't settling for the status quo, and they saw an opportunity on the coaching market that simply couldn't be ignored.
John Elway called up his old pal Gary Kubiak in the 2015 offseason and hired him as the team's head coach. Kubiak wasn't planning on going back into being a head coach at the time, but the possibility of being the head coach of the Denver Broncos was the only opportunity he was interested in.
And Kubiak ended up being the perfect coach to lead that particular team. The Broncos would go on to earn the top seed in the AFC in a wild 2015 season, and ultimately win Super Bowl 50. Kubiak was the missing ingredient. That team needed the right leader in place, and John Fox wasn't it.
As much success as the Broncos had with Fox, and as great as he was at the time he was initially hired (in 2011), the Broncos needed a new coach to take the baton and bring the team to the summit. And he did.
So we circle back to the Dallas Cowboys, who have been having a ton of regular season success the last handful of years. They have been statistically one of the best teams in the league. And they have unfortunately suffered the same fate at the end of every season since 2021. The Cowboys have been unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in an all-too-familiar time loop, just like this:
And yet, Jerry Jones won't make the big move to go get a different head coach. He's sticking with Mike McCarthy despite the fact that McCarthy is the primary common denominator in these playoff failures. His teams haven't been ready. They have underperformed at home. They have looked great when the stakes weren't high and when the stakes were high, they collapsed.
That responsibility falls first on the head coach, and McCarthy has been given too many free passes by Dallas.
The Cowboys don't have the same guts the Denver Broncos had 10 years ago. The Broncos did what Jerry Jones seemingly couldn't.
It's one thing to settle for status quo if you've got a coach that has won you a couple of championships, or even one championship. But now, in consecutive offseasons, Jones has passed on the chance to hire Sean Payton and Bill Belichick. He's forsaken the chance to go after Jim Harbaugh. Heck, he could have gone after Mike Vrabel and probably updated his situation.
It's becoming indefensible at this point. Thankfully, the Broncos made the tough call when they had to make it. John Elway knew he had a championship roster, and he made sure he had the right coach in place to get them to the promised land.
The Cowboys don't have it in them to do the same.
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