Headed into the Cowboys’ wild-card matchup against the Buccaneers on Monday night, questions lingered about coach Mike McCarthy’s job security, who had yet to win a playoff game in his first two seasons in Dallas. However, after the Cowboys routed Tom Brady and Tampa 31–14, franchise owner Jerry Jones gave perhaps his most ringing endorsement of McCarthy yet. “You think I was sold on him before this outstanding game for the Cowboys, I’ve gone up a notch,” Jones said of McCarthy, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Jones’s comments come less than a week after he somewhat sidestepped a question about McCarthy’s job security going into the Cowboys vs. Bucs game during an interview on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. Still, the Dallas owner sounded clear that the team’s coach wasn’t in danger of losing his job if Monday’s game hadn’t gone well.
“I’ve got a lot more to evaluate Mike McCarthy on than this playoff game,” Jones said Wednesday on the show. “I can’t tell you how much confidence I’ve got in Mike and our coaching staff of being on top of where we are with this team right now. … They understand every frailty that we might have or we might have shown Sunday [in the loss to Washington]. They’ve got everything in their grasp and in their understanding, and I have complete confidence in this coaching staff. It’s outstanding.”
After the Cowboys posted a 6–10 record in McCarthy’s first year with the team, the team has rattled off back-to-back 12-win seasons. Monday marked the first time that Dallas had won a playoff game under McCarthy, but the bigger test will come in the divisional round against the 49ers next weekend. The Cowboys have yet to advance past the divisional round of the postseason since 1995 and will face a difficult test next Sunday on the road in San Francisco. Kickoff for the NFC playoff tilt is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.