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Cowboys' Stephen Jones says Mike McCarthy's job is safe

The Dallas Cowboys are not having the kind of season that anyone expected but blame does not appear to be falling on first year head coach Mike McCarthy.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy spreads his arms while taking a break with his team during an NFL football training camp in Frisco, Texas, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS — A member of the Dallas Cowboys front office stated there will be no change when it comes to head coach at the end of the season.

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones responded to a report from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that the former Super Bowl-winning coach's job is safe in Dallas after a disappointing 2020 campaign that could see the club finish in the NFC East basement for the first time since 2015.

"Absolutely no change with Coach McCarthy, and I am surprised that someone would question Mike, these unprecedented situations that everyone's been in on top of that," Jones told "The K&C Masterpiece" on 105.3 The Fan.

While Jones prefaced his remarks by saying "No one is making excuses," the front office boss pointed to the rash of injuries the club has taken in 2020 with McCarthy on the sidelines and reaffirmed the team's confidence in his success as the Green Bay Packers coach from 2006-18.

"If you look at his track record and his pedigree, he's consistently won year in and year out," said Jones. "We have the utmost confidence that this ship is going to be righted quickly, and Mike is going to be the leader of this group. He's certainly a great head coach and I think we're going to see that going forward. He's a great head coach in this league, he's accomplished a lot, and he's going to accomplish a lot more before it's all said and done."

The Cowboys snapped a two-game losing streak with a 30-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday in Week 14 at Paul Brown Stadium.  Jones believes the win will help players gain even more confidence in McCarthy's system and culture, which will produce the results in 2021 that they thought would manifest in 2020.

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Said Jones: "This team is working hard every week. And I think when you get results, it encourages even more intense work. It creates confidence, confident players. There's nothing like confidence compared to one who is trying to figure it out, you know, sometimes not as confident as he should be. You execute better. We certainly struggled at times to execute. And I think at the end of the day, when you win football games, especially a team that's struggled to win them, whether it's because of turnovers or execution or whether it's because of confidence, you're looking for that. And I think wins go a long way toward really creating a positive in all of those areas."

Dallas rests at 4-9, the bottom of the division. The Philadelphia Eagles are third at 4-8-1, the New York Giants second at 5-8, and Washington in first place at 6-7. Though the Cowboys are mathematically alive to make the playoffs, with the only path to victory being winning the division, they would need the bottom to fall out for Washington while planting a loss on the Eagles in Week 16 and Giants in Week 17.

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"As long as you're mathematically in it, you're doing everything you can to stay in the mix," said Jones. "We're mathematically in it. We know we're going to need a lot of help as it pertains to [Washington]. They're playing good football, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So, we just got to go do our job. We can't control what others do. We're mathematically in it, and our goal is to win these last three football games."

The risk to winning games to build a culture for McCarthy is it could affect Dallas' draft positioning in 2021. Currently, the Cowboys would have a top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. More wins may push that pick further to the middle of the draft and affect the Cowboys' ability to take a game-changing type of talent, or entice a quarterback-needy team to pay a ransom to move up in the first round.

Do you think Mike McCarthy has done enough to have the opportunity to coach the Cowboys in 2021? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.