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Jerry Jones says the Cowboys will retain Mike McCarthy as head coach

Mike McCarthy has coached the Cowboys to three straight 12-win regular seasons but has a 1-3 postseason record over his four years with the team. (Sam Hodde/AP)
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The Dallas Cowboys are keeping Mike McCarthy as their coach, even after their latest postseason disappointment.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided to retain McCarthy for next season, he said in a statement released by the team Wednesday night.

“I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals and the best step forward for us will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach,” Jones said. “There is great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach.”

Jones’s decision comes in the aftermath of Sunday’s 48-32 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Arlington, Tex., in the opening round of the NFC playoffs. Jones called it the “most painful” playoff defeat of his Cowboys ownership tenure.

But that did not prompt him to fire McCarthy even at a time when Jones’s options for a replacement include Bill Belichick, who parted ways with the New England Patriots last week after coaching them to six Super Bowl victories over 24 seasons, and Mike Vrabel, the 2021 NFL coach of the year who was fired last week by the Tennessee Titans.

“Specifically, there are many layers of success that have occurred this season as a result of Mike’s approach to leading the team, both with individual players and with our team collectively,” Jones said in the statement. “Mike has the highest regular season winning percentage of any head coach in Cowboys history and we will dedicate ourselves, in partnership with him, to translating that into reaching our post season goals.”

Cowboys’ shocking loss leaves Jerry Jones to ponder Mike McCarthy’s status

At least eight teams will hire new head coaches this offseason. But the Cowboys will not join the Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, Seattle Seahawks and Titans with head coaching vacancies.

The Patriots moved quickly last week to replace Belichick by promoting linebackers coach Jerod Mayo to head coach, using a succession clause written into Mayo’s contract that enabled them to bypass the NFL’s minority interviewing requirements. Mayo became the first Black head coach in Patriots history and was formally introduced Wednesday.

The Cowboys would have faced competition if they had fired McCarthy, whose contract runs through next season, and pursued Belichick. He interviewed with the Falcons for their coaching job, that team announced Monday. Other available coaches include Pete Carroll, who parted ways last week with the Seahawks, and Jim Harbaugh, who coached the University of Michigan to this season’s collegiate national championship but is considering his NFL options. Harbaugh has interviewed with the Chargers and Falcons.

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But Jones opted to maintain the status quo, saying in the statement that Sunday’s loss “is shared by everyone here,” including himself.

“There is accountability for our results,” Jones said. “I am accountable for our results. The lens we use to view and evaluate Coach McCarthy is holistic. While we’re all disappointed with the result on Sunday and with our playoff record, I am 100 percent supportive of him as our head coach and ability to reach our goals.”

McCarthy has coached the Cowboys for four seasons and has a regular season record of 42-25, leading the team to three straight 12-victory campaigns. But he is 1-3 in the postseason with the Cowboys and has failed to take them beyond the divisional round.

The Cowboys won the NFC East and were the conference’s No. 2 seed but allowed the first 27 points on their way to losing at home to the seventh-seeded Packers.

“On a personal basis, I’m floored,” Jones said outside the Cowboys’ locker room after the game. “Not that there’s any world’s smallest violin for me being floored. I get that. I understand that. I know where the responsibility starts and ends. And I’ve got that real clear and I know that.”

Jones’s franchise has not made a Super Bowl appearance since the 1995 season.

“A lot of things to reflect on,” he said Sunday. “But I haven’t done that at all. And I haven’t reflected at all on anything about coaching or any of that. We just are amazed that we are sitting here without another game this coming weekend.”

McCarthy said after the game that the Cowboys were “very disappointed, to a man.” He said he hadn’t “thought past the outcome of this game” at that point to consider the issue of his job security.

“We clearly picked the wrong day to have a bad day,” he said Sunday.