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How Much Better is Mike McCarthy Over Jason Garrett?

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    The Dallas Cowboys finally, finally, finally have a new head coach. Jason Garrett's tenure is over. They decided not to extend his contract and the Cowboys wasted little time in hiring a new head coach, former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.

    Question is how much better is Mike McCarthy over Jason Garrett?

    In the 9.5 years that Jason Garrett was the Cowboys head coach he went 85-67. That's a win % of 55.9%. Here's how the seasons broke down:

    2010: 5-3 (when he took over for Wade Phillips)
    2011: 8-8 (missed the playoffs)
    2012: 8-8 (missed the playoffs)
    2013: 8-8 (missed the playoffs)
    2014: 12-4 (won the division, then went 1-1 in the playoffs, giving the Cowboys their first playoff win in forever)
    2015: 4-12 (Romo got hurt that year)
    2016: 13-3 (won the division, Dak replaced injured Romo in preseason, one and done to Green Bay in divisional round)
    2017: 9-7 (missed the playoffs)
    2018: 10-6 (won the division, 1-1 in the playoffs)
    2019: 8-8 (missed the playoffs)

    So Garrett had 9 full seasons where he went 8-8 four times. Then one terrible year with no QB. Then he won the division three times and went 2-3 in the playoffs, never making it to the NFC Championship game. And then the 9-7 season where Philly won the division and ultimately the Super Bowl.

    He had Tony Romo, a really good to great QB for his first 3.5 seasons. And Dak Prescott, another really good to great QB for 4 full seasons (on a very cheap rookie deal).

    Contrast that with Mike McCarthy's head coaching career so far:

    125-77 career record (61.8 win %) from 2006-mid 2018 when he was fired in week 13. He coached Green Bay to a Super Bowl in 2011. So he has a ring. He coached 12 full seasons, winning the division 6 times and went 10-8 in the playoffs overall. He did have 3 sub .500 seasons where the team went 6-10 in his 3rd year, 7-9 in 2017 and 4-7-1 in his final season.

    He also got to coach arguably the best QB to ever play the game in Aaron Rodgers. And there was great controversy throughout his tenure as to how much the team offense was Mike McCarthy's scheme and coaching vs Rodgers just impromptu doing whatever he wanted and just being great on his own.

    So where does that leave the Cowboys? Dallas is an organization with Jerry Jones that's very disjointed and its hard to know just how much say a guy like Mike McCarthy can have in the room ultimately; how much can he run the whole season from top to bottom without owner and GM Jones simply just getting in the way? That was the big question for Garrett's entire tenure as well.

    I think McCarthy is solid and feels like a good letter grade upgrade from Jason Garrett. He should immediately command decent respect from all the players, if for no other reason than he is a Super Bowl winning head coach. And the 28th most winningest coach of all time (compared to Garrett at #54).

    What do you think? Was this a good move for the Cowboys? Is this an upgrade, how big, or did the Cowboys make a mistake and you think they should have hired a college coach instead?

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    As a Bears fan, I'm happy that McCarthy isn't heading back to the NFC North! He's a hell of a coach and I was rather surprised when the Packers unceremoniously fired him after a so-so season that many franchises would love to have.

    The only wild card is Dak Prescott and when (I'm not even going to say if) he signs his contract extension with the Cowboys. How much saw will Dak have in the offense scheme, especially with an offensive-minded coach like McCarthy. They're all professionals, so I don't see any major hiccups, but it'll be interesting to watch everything unfold next year.

    Regardless of how the off-season plays out, it will definitely be weird not seeing Garrett on the sideline next fall.

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    This certainly has been a long time coming. I agree with others when they say he had a great team and great players over the years which gave him no excuse not to make it to the Super Bowl at least once. This year's team was solid, and it was pretty obvious the only thing keeping them back was their coach.
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    I'm super interested to see what McCarthy does with the Cowboys. He's a super solid coach and did really well with the Packers. I'm not to familiar with the Cowboys stats with Garrett, but I do know he wasn't exactly leading them to any championships any time soon. I'm a Packers fan but I'm really hoping McCarthy shows Green Bay it was a mistake to let him go.