Mike McCarthy is not expected to receive any extension from the Dallas Cowboys and will coach through the 2024 season on an expiring contract, league sources told ESPN.
Since Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced this week that McCarthy would return in 2024, there have been questions about whether McCarthy's contract could be adjusted in any way – even by extending it for another year.
The answer is quite simple: no. Jones says he believes a person is challenged in a different way in the final year of a contract and that can often bring out the best in people – which is what he expects with McCarthy in 2024.
Jones expected and demanded the same from McCarthy's predecessor, Jason Garrett, who served as coach twice until the final year of his contract.
The first time Garrett coached in the final year of his contract was in 2014, when he was 12-4 and received a five-year extension. The second time was in 2019, when he finished 8-8 and did not return to the Cowboys, who replaced him with McCarthy.
Three days after a disappointing wild-card loss to the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium, Jones made McCarthy's return in 2024 official with a 260-word statement in which he praised McCarthy's regular-season winning percentage and his “proven postseason success.” , although didn't come with the Packers.
The Cowboys have a 67-42 regular-season record and have won two NFC East titles in the last three years, but are just 1-3 in the playoffs under McCarthy.
McCarthy said he was motivated more by legacy than money and said the lack of an extension was not a problem for him. But the fact that he will be coaching in the final year of his contract will put a strain on McCarthy and the Cowboys and lead to inevitable problems.
Some league sources say McCarthy may have a harder time filling potential vacancies on his coaching staff since he is in the final year of his contract. Others say McCarthy's lack of an extension during difficult times could weigh on the team.
Some other sources wonder how players will react to McCarthy's contract status later in the year if the 2024 season doesn't go well.
The Cowboys' Super Bowl drought now stretches to 28 seasons, and although he admitted Wednesday that his team has “work to do,” McCarthy urged fans to “accept us.”
“I came here to win a championship,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t come here to get another contract or anything else. I came to Dallas to win a world championship.”