Mike McCarthy May Not Be the Right Coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Warns ESPN Analyst

Stephen A. Smith is never short of an opinion when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and the ESPN analyst has questioned the wisdom of the franchise's decision to appoint Mike McCarthy as its new head coach.

On Monday morning the Cowboys confirmed they had parted ways with Jason Garrett after nine seasons as head coach and replaced him with McCarthy, who returns to the NFL just a year after being fired by the Green Bay Packers.

During a 13-season spell in Wisconsin, the 56-year-old won Super Bowl XLV and made a total of nine playoff appearances—three more than the Cowboys over the same period—and is one of only four NFL coaches along with Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Bill Belichick to lead the same team to the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons.

Despite a 125-77-1 record, however, Smith suggested the way McCarthy's tenure with the Packers ended could spell trouble for Dallas.

"From a resume perspective I have no problem with him," Smith said on ESPN's First Take on Monday.

"My problem is: How'd you leave? [...] What did you do the last time I saw you?"

Here we go with these damn @DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/TfqvamimyI

— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 6, 2020

McCarthy's spell in Green Bay came to an acrimonious end in December 2018 with the Packers 4-7-1 and four games left in the season.

Five months following his departure, Bleacher Report published a detailed and wide-ranging piece that shed light on the relationship between McCarthy and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The report, which featured interviews with a number of former players and Packers staff, painted a picture that was from harmonious suggesting the rift between the two had stretched over the 13 years they had spent together in Wisconsin.

Rodgers subsequently dismissed the report as a "smear attack" based on "outright lies".

During his final season in Green Bay, McCarthy found himself accused of holding back Rodgers through a mixture of questionable plays and trades.

Following a 27-24 loss against Seattle in November 2018 when the Packers twice blew a chance to win the game, Rodgers suggested the team had been "terrible on third down" and lacked the nous to "play situational football".

In his first season without McCarthy at the helm, the Packers went 13-3, clinching the second seed in the NFC and returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Statistically speaking, however, they have regressed as they ranked 15th in scoring offense and 18th in total offense this season, down from 14th and 12th a year ago—they averaged 23.5 points per game in both seasons and 369.1 yards per game last year, compared with 345.5 this year.

Despite the slight decline in offensive production, Rodgers has seemed happier, which Smith suggested was a warning sign for Dallas.

"My point is: Aaron Rodgers, one of the greatest quarterbacks we've ever seen [...] said 'This is archaic.'," Smith added.

"You're going to bring in a guy who was accused of being a guy who time has passed him by? That is the guy that you hire? With [former Ohio State head coach] Urban Meyer out there?"

Dallas ranked first in total offense and sixth in total offense this season and McCarthy's appointment was somewhat of a surprise, given the Cowboys were thought to be considering Meyer, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

According to ESPN, however, the Cowboys only interviewed former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis before agreeing a five-year deal with McCarthy, who had previously spoken with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants regarding their vacancies.

 Mike McCarthy
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy watches the warms ups prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. McCarthy was appointed as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on January 5. Leon Halip/Getty