McCarthy leads an­other fran­chise

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By SCHUYLER DIXON

Mike McCarthy used to drive by the stat­ues ev­ery day when ar­riv­ing for work at Lam­beau Field, so there never was much need to tell him what he was get­ting into as coach of the Dal­las Cow­boys. Nearly 10 years af­ter win­ning a Su­per Bowl with one iconic fran­chise in Green Bay, McCarthy is tak­ing over an­other and knows that’s where the con­ver­sa­tion starts with the Cow­boys.

FRISCO, Texas — Mike McCarthy used to drive by the stat­ues ev­ery day when ar­riv­ing for work at Lam­beau Field, so there never was much need to tell him what he was get­ting into as coach of the Dal­las Cow­boys.

Nearly 10 years af­ter win­ning a Su­per Bowl with one iconic fran­chise in Green Bay, McCarthy is tak­ing over an­other and knows that’s where the con­ver­sa­tion starts with the Cow­boys, re­gard­less of their nearly 25-year ab­sence on foot­ball’s big­gest stage.

“You look at the great coaches that have been here,” McCarthy said dur­ing his in­tro­duc­tory news con­fer­ence Wednesday. “The Su­per Bowl cham­pi­ons. All the Hall of Fame play­ers. You look at the great quar­ter­back play here. There’s a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties that I feel that I can use in this par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion.”

Flanked by owner Jerry Jones and his son, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Stephen Jones, McCarthy ad­dressed a large crowd of re­porters, play­ers and staff mem­bers in the atrium of the in­door foot­ball sta­dium that’s also one of the team’s prac­tice fields.

McCarthy won his cham­pi­onship at the home of the Cow­boys, with the statue of Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry near the main en­trance.

He coached un­der the shadow of Curly Lam­beau and Vince Lom­bardi with the Pack­ers, reach­ing the playoffs nine times in his first 11 sea­sons be­fore get­ting fired dur­ing what ended up be­ing a sec­ond straight los­ing sea­son.

Now the 56-year-old McCarthy, af­ter a year out of foot­ball, is tak­ing over for Ja­son Gar­rett, sec­ond to Landry in ten­ure for Cow­boys coaches, but without any­thing re­motely ap­proach­ing Landry’s post­sea­son pedi­gree.

“I am hon­ored to be the ste­ward of this iconic fran­chise,” McCarthy said. “I told Jerry this in the in­ter­view, that I will take care of that honor and priv­i­lege and that re­spon­si­bil­ity. Be­cause I un­der­stand it. And I know what it takes.”

Dal­las missed the playoffs at 8-8 with high ex­pec­ta­tions in a make-or-break sea­son for Gar­rett, whose con­tract ex­pires next week. At 9½ sea­sons, Gar­rett had the sec­ond-long­est ten­ure for a Dal­las coach be­hind Landry (club’s first 29 years).

Green Bay made nine trips to the post­sea­son in 13 years un­der McCarthy. That’s the only other head coach­ing job he has held. McCarthy led the Pack­ers to at least 10 wins in eight of his first 11 sea­sons, in­clud­ing four trips to the NFC cham­pi­onship game.

Dal­las hasn’t been that far in the playoffs since the last of the fran­chise’s five Su­per Bowl ti­tles to fin­ish the 1995 sea­son. The Cow­boys missed the playoffs six times in Gar­rett’s nine full sea­sons.

McCarthy went 125-77-2 in the reg­u­lar sea­son with the Pack­ers and 10-8 in the playoffs. The Cow­boys have just three play­off wins since their most re­cent cham­pi­onship.

The eight-year play­off run for McCarthy and Rodgers was from 2009-16, a stretch that in­cluded two divi­sional-round vic­to­ries over the Gar­rett-led Cow­boys.

As­so­ci­ated Press

RE­SUME New Dal­las Cow­boys head coach Mike McCarthy, cen­ter, is in­tro­duced by owner Jerry Jones, right, on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.

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