Mike McCarthy enters the 2024 season with the Dallas Cowboys in a high-stakes ‘all or nothing’ scenario.

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2024 is an ‘all or nothing’ season with Mike McCarthy

ESPN’s NFL reporter Todd Archer, who specializes in covering the Dallas Cowboys, has been immersed in NFL journalism since 1997 and has focused on the Cowboys since 2003. Since joining ESPN in 2010, he has been a prominent voice in reporting on the team.

In Frisco, Texas, where the Cowboys are based, head coach Mike McCarthy has consistently introduced different themes for each season. The 2023 theme was “Carpe Omnia,” which translates to seize everything in Latin. Now, with owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirming McCarthy’s return for a fifth season, the coach might not need to brainstorm a new theme for 2024 – “All or Nothing” seems fitting.

Having inked a five-year deal with the Cowboys in 2020, McCarthy has no indication of an extension following his meeting with Jones. The upcoming season also marks the final year of quarterback Dak Prescott’s contract, making it a crucial period for the team.

Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy (Credits: Sports Illustrated)

While there’s time to negotiate a contract extension for Prescott, his current cap hit of $59.4 million poses challenges for the Cowboys in terms of signing free agents or retaining key players without restructuring the deal. The team faces the dilemma of committing to a lucrative contract for Prescott, potentially among the highest-paid quarterbacks, considering his eight-year tenure as the starter and a playoff record of 2-5 without reaching a conference title game.

McCarthy’s return raises several questions, including his coaching record of 42-25 and the success he has achieved with two NFC East titles in the last three seasons. Notably, McCarthy took on playcalling duties in the recent season, resulting in Prescott’s stellar performance, leading the NFL in touchdown passes.

Despite McCarthy’s accomplishments, postseason success remains the ultimate yardstick for evaluation. McCarthy has faced playoff exits twice, including a recent 48-32 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Speculation about a potential coaching change has been kept under wraps, with Jones not making any overt moves toward renowned coaches like Bill Belichick or Jim Harbaugh.

Jones, known for being impulsive and risk-taking, has refrained from major coaching changes since 2012. As he approaches 82 years old, his desire for another championship adds weight to the decision to stick with McCarthy rather than pursuing younger offensive coaching talent.

The coaching staff’s future also hangs in the balance, with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn interviewing for head-coaching positions with multiple teams. Potential replacements from within the current coaching staff, such as Joe Whitt Jr., Aden Durde, or Al Harris, are being considered. Alternatively, external options like Wink Martindale could be explored.

As the team heads into the 2024 season, it’s evident that the stakes are high – a make-or-break period for the Cowboys, emphasizing the “All or Nothing” nature of the upcoming campaign.


By James Brown

A passionate and driven individual currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Born on 06 February, hails from Raipur, where their journey into the world of technology and creativity began.

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