Can the Cowboys and Mike McCarthy overcome the shadow of Sean Payton? | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports’ Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Yahoo Sports’ Columnist Dan Wetzel discuss the upcoming season for the Dallas Cowboys, and the awkward position head coach Mike McCarthy finds himself in. Super Bowl winning head coach Sean Payton is available, so what kind of season will it take for McCarthy to keep his job, and keep Payton off the sidelines in Big D?

Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video transcript

DAN WETZEL: Cowboys. Question, can they-- many seconds do they have to make this? Can they get a snap off in 18 seconds or whatever it was, 30 seconds? Can the Cowboys finally do something? That's my question.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Man, I don't know. I don't-- here's the thing about this. It is such a weird situation there that Mike McCarthy-- Sean Payton not having a job impacts the Cowboys more than anybody else. I really-- and people are going to get sick of hearing that, and I get it, but it's 100% true. And Mike McCarthy will tell you he's not thinking about it, but that's not true.

He is in a really weird place with the Cowboys. I think he knows that Jerry Jones has affection for Sean Payton, everybody knows that. I think Cowboy fans are sick of it. They're sick of talking about Sean Payton. I totally get it. But Payton being a free agent is a bad setup for Dallas, because I think it's going to be a season long distraction. I'm talking about it now and people are going to say, oh, it's going to get overdone. But I'm talking about it because of the fact that it is real and you're never going to hear Jerry Jones say, we're not hiring Sean Payton.

So maybe Mike McCarthy can replicate last season. But here's the thing, they can't go to the playoffs and lose a game. They can't. He will get fired. I believe that. If the Dallas Cowboys repeat last season, OK, same win total, win the NFC East, do everything you possibly can and they go to the playoffs and they lose, I think Jerry Jones fires Mike McCarthy. I truly 100% think that is going to be the case.

And Stephen Jones is the guy who would back him. Stephen Jones is the guy who I think could save him. No way. I think they do what they did last season, he gets fired. Which means that they do less, they don't make the playoffs, he gets fired. So I think the only thing that keeps Mike McCarthy in his job in 2023 is going to the playoffs, winning a playoff game, and convincing Jerry Jones that there's no reason to make a run at Sean Payton. And I 100% think that they will make a run at Sean Payton if Mike McCarthy does not coach his way to some sort of a dominant season.

DAN WETZEL: It seems reasonable, but they kept Garrett around for a long time so. But yeah, I mean, if they lose again in the first around the playoffs with that roster and this error, yeah, McCarthy should go. Wasn't a good choice.